From the start of the recession the conversation has focused on cleaning banks balance sheets, i.e. riding the bad loans or toxic assets with taxpayer money. It would be more sensible for the FDIC to liquidate toxic banks. Eliminating toxic banks is more American than a perpetual welfare stream to the undeserved.
Discourse about homosexual issues is for the most part censored by an unspoken agreement among the media, scared politicians and nervous preachers; as well as teachers and others who feel their jobs and thus livelihood might be threatened. Oh, we can talk about events in Vermont, Iowa, and elsewhere, but we can’t talk about the issue. It is perceived that the issue is too explosive, too sensitive, and after all homosexuals represent a significant percentage of the general population. Nobody knows the size of the homosexual community, but the numbers you read go up and down from 10%. Usually down. In most parts of the country probably way down.
Of course, a gaining view is that homosexual discrimination is a civil rights issue. And, being a civil rights matter; homosexuals are entitled to full rights and full recognition.
This view is emerging without the benefit of a full debate. Can you imagine the Congress in floor session discussing, from any angle, the subject of homosexuality and its impact on American society? For the time being it is just an untouchable subject clothed in undetermined and undefined civil rights.
Few even dare to say that homosexuality is unnatural. If the lifestyle is obviously unnatural how do you grant full rights on a matter so fundamental as marriage without turning civil society topsy-turvy.
For right now politicans don’t feel they have to deal with homosexual marriage. And, being resourceful politicans they can push it back, as they push back other difficult decisions. In a word our leaders, so-called, are too intimidated to speak freely.
Then, there is the vast hypocrisy. Always the hypocrisy! Would you not like to know the private thoughts of people ,both present and remote, who where cheering the proclamations by the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York CIty this month as they introduced a marriage equality proposal. It might be fashionable to incorporate a homosexual agenda into the Bill of Rights, but it is not so simple, nor deserving.
I would guess that the vast majority of Americans are somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of granting full rights to homosexuals. We know from the Clinton era and the position of the military that the subject produced a lot of stress. A “no ask, no tell” policy was developed that kept a lid on the matter for the time being.
Obviously, homosexuals should not suffer job discrimination is most employment. They should not be abused, ridiculed and socially ostracized. At the same time their lifestyle cannot be elevated to share all the societal acceptance that heterosexuals enjoy.
Full legal rights would represent canonizing a sexual perversion into a societal perversion.
Maybe Clinton had the best deal that homosexuals can hope for or deserve. However, if pressed the debate should begin.
When I read or watch commentary from the new administration I observe confidence in the government managing the economy and less reliance on the markets. This is wrong and dangerous. The markets have been polluted by crooks, both inside and outside of government. This has produced markets that were anti-competitive. Markets do have to be fixed, but they work and work well. The fear is that the ideologues will attempt to dismantle the market. Remember, the problem with the market is crooks. The problem with government management is government management.
This Easter I am reminded of a question once asked to Sen. Ted Kennedy about his mother’s strength and resiliency. She was around a hundred years old and had experienced much grief and suffering, including the loss of 3 boys and a daughter. Kennedy explained that it was her faith. He said his mother believed in the Resurrection. I liked his answer. It gives believers encouragement to know that life is open-ended.
Across the world people are talking and writing about leadership or the lack thereof. Political leadership, business leadership, family leadership, and, of course, church leadership.
Some people contend that after WWII our best and most able citizens shunned politics in favor of business, the academics, and other pursuits. I would like to believe we have always had some people in politics with leadership skills. But now, many fear we are running very low.
Politically, I think we started drifting in the cold war and especially from the mid-sixties on. A lot of the problems that are showing up today had their beginnings in the seventies and eighties. The electoral process got corrupted in the seventies with the rise of PAC’s. Politicians become more interested in retaining positions than running the country.
We have watched all kinds of gimmicks. In the seventies it was discerned that conservatives, by voting “no” on issue after issue would be perceived as “negative” and voted out of office by a disenchanted electorate. Trying to fix up their image they come up with a device called “revenue sharing” that would remain consistent with their philosophy. The scheme involved sending money from taxpayers to Washington and perfume it up and send it back to the states as grants without any strings attached. States had the liberty to spend as they wished. The conservative columnist William Buckley questioned the round trip. Why not just leave the money with the states or taxpayers? But, the politicians loved it and it gave them the appearance of being “positive”, thus, contributing to their job security from a pliant public.
Politicians are very good at re-naming offensive language. The one I enjoyed most was called “revenue enhancement” from that seventies and eighties era. Tax is a fearsome word that produces general loathing. But, “revenue enhancement” sounded sophisticated and even scholarly. We had a Tennessee politician who contributed greatly to popularizing the phrase.
We are entering into a time that will be stressful enough to help build leadership. Any cream left will have to move to the top. Yet, before it is all settled out the electorate will recognize they have paid a ton of a price for their laxity.
I woke up this morning to watching the President, overseas, declare the United States was not a Christian nation. You would have to assume he meant a codified Christian country. But, to say we have any history other than a nation built on Christian principles by Christian practitioners is about as far removed from the truth as you can get.