It’s true, part of my sense of loss is just the plain distaste of losing an election, but I have come to realize it’s so much more than that. It’s the recognition and foreboding dismay that my country is no longer made up of mostly people like me. The core values & beliefs I have cherished since childhood are no longer the values or beliefs my neighbor holds up as honorable or preferential. In hindsight, when I consider the signs that this change has been coming, the evidence is pervasive.
- Gone is “Father Knows Best” or even “The Cosby Show”; replaced by “Modern Family” or “Housewives of You-Name-It”.
- Gone is “Ask not what your country can do for you”; replaced by “What’s in it for me?” or “Where’s mine?”
- Gone are the community shared in a neighborhood BBQ; replaced by Tweeting & Facebook.
- Gone is the general respect for others in public discourse; replaced by a complete lack of civility.
- Gone is the belief in peace through strength; replaced by the assumption that if we are nice enough, the bad guys will leave us alone.
- Gone is the sense that business owners are the hope for our economy; replaced by belief in more government “investment”.
- Gone is the need for incentives to breed success; replaced by a belief we need to penalize achievers more.
- Gone are the Ten Commandments; replaced by belief in the Judiciary determining what is right or wrong.
- Gone is fiscal responsibility: that sense that you don’t spend money if you don’t have it; replaced by more debt and indifference for our concrete path towards insolvency.
- Gone is the belief in your family or your church to help you out in times of need; replaced by an expectation that the government is supposed to be there for everything.
What is most shocking is how quickly this change has occurred. In a little less than a generation, perhaps starting around the time of President Clinton, the focus and belief of America has changed. And I don’t like it.
Our current President rode into the White House with the campaign promise of change, but he wasn’t really the one who changed this country. America had changed already. He just happened to articulate what the country already believed.
I have not wanted to concede to my country’s paradigm shift. But Paul the Apostille reminds me, “When I was a child… I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” It is time to move on and accept this ‘new’ paradigm. It is time to accept that my quarterback is not going to get up and win the game in the Fourth Quarter: The majority of America does not see this country as a “shining city on a hill” anymore.
I know this sense of mourning will pass. Life will go on. And of course, this acceptance does not change my belief in our God given rights of freedom & liberty; in our incredible economy that rewards success; and in always having the hope of a better day. Those beliefs will permanently be mine. But, inescapably, I will mourn this day, the day I realized the America I once knew is gone.