Sunday, November 11, 2012

Post Game

The election has been over for a week. (It seems so much longer than that.) Almost everyone who blogs or broadcasts has had his shot at analyzing what the election means for America except me. So, here's my take.

This election reflected change in American values and culture - in other words, worldview. Washington and several other states made marijuana and same-sex marriage legal. Looking deeper, the election revealed an increasing desire for the government to come to the rescue of minorities and disadvantaged people and an increasing divide between the haves and those who see themselves as the have-nots.

That might be characterized by a growing self-centeredness.

For Christians, because the media painted Christians as far right obstructionists, the general population of America are seeing Christians as out of touch, at best, and dangerous, at worst. One candidate in Washington called the views of her opponent, a man who held conservative moral values, as terrifying for the people of Washington.

If we consider one issue at a time, there was good news for America. We endorsed medical care for those who have been excluded from the insurance system in the past. That is good, though the unintended consequences may prove to be more costly than we would like.

Legalizing marijuana may reduce illegal drug traffic and bring more money into the state coffers. However, I doubt that it will result in any real reduction in the illegal drug trade. Money, not drugs, is what drives that trade. Drug cartels and gangs will find another product to push, and I doubt that will be apples.

The will of Americans implied in the election to find a equitable solution to the flood of undocumented aliens is encouraging. It makes no sense to hold millions of people hostage by fear of deportation. But we are far from a solution, and I doubt that the administration will make any more progress in the next four years than they made in the last. We need more than good will. We need action.

But taken all together, these and the leaning of the Democratic party, increasingly the party of choice for more and more Americans, toward solving all our problems by redistribution of money from the rich to the poor is worrying. I know that redistribution seems equitable. The rich can afford to pay more taxes. But that is not the point. The point is that more and more people believe someone else should take care of them.

The genius of America was self-reliance and personal responsibility. That was the result of a Judeo-Christian worldview that guided the fathers of our republic. In the New England colonies, the poor in the community were cared for by people who opened their pockets and homes. They did so voluntarily because as Christians they cared for those who were in need.

Moving from voluntary caring by the many to conscription (is that too strong?) from the few bodes ill for our culture.

In the background of all of this are the moral issues, some of which were decided by the voters and some of which are implied by the voice of the electorate. One is same-sex marriage. Again, to many in our changing culture, that seemed like an issue of concern only to those directly involved. Love is love, and no one should stand in the way. But really, the focus for the advocates was themselves with little regard for the institution of marriage and its value to society.

The other moral issue is the reproduction rights of women. No vote was taken on this issue, to my knowledge. But voting for Democratic candidates and against Republican was generally regarded as a vote for women's rights and against meddling. Sadly, concern for the rights of the unborn was brushed aside in favor of others' rights. Let's be clear. That is a concern, in most instances, for the convenience of one and a lack of concern for the life of the other. That is worrying for the future of our society.

The outcome of all this, I fear, will be a weakening of the glue that has held us together. We have chosen self-interest and selfishness over the good of our society. We may have sown the wind. Will we reap the whirlwind?