Everyone these days seems to be angry. President or Congress, Republican or Democrat, we are fed up with their childish bickering and partisan gamesmanship that have brought the nation to this place.
But maybe we should be more upset with ourselves, the American people. It is the “people” who continue to elect the same leadership over and over, who shape the polls which guide the direction of these pliable puppets, and who respond predictably to their political machinations. We react according to their plans, buy the filtered propaganda of the media, and greedily accept the breads and circuses they distribute. The “angry” public plays the same game as the leaders.
As I was preparing this post, news came that Delegate Joe Morrisey of Henrico, VA was re-elected by his constituents. Under normal circumstances this would be unremarkable. After all, he’s served the 74th district for several years. What makes this election different is that Mr. Morrisey had resigned his seat to serve a 6 month sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This was a plea deal to avoid a more serious felony charge. He campaigned for this election while on work-release hours from that sentence. Rejected even by his own party, he ran independently and was sworn into office yesterday. He won the election from jail.
There is every reason to be disturbed with our elected leaders and the direction they are taking us, but let’s remember that a democratic republic is a two-edged sword. “We the people” must be ready to accept our part of the responsibility. We get the leaders we deserve. They represent us and reflect us. Morrisey demonstrates that our leadership is merely a reflection of those who participate in their election. He was elected by those who went to the polls and voted.
There was another news story from this week which provides a positive illustration. Homeschooling parents in our neighboring county were told that if they chose to homeschool based on the religious exemption allowed in Virginia, any child 14 years or older would be required to justify their religious views to the school board, first on paper and potentially in person. Failure to do so would result in prosecution. Understandably many (not just homeschoolers) were outraged at this infringement of personal, religious, and parental rights, and more than 250 citizens attended the next school board meeting. After hearing the parents persuasively and graciously present their case, the board voted to rescind the offensive policy.
It’s easy to feel frustrated that our influence in our nation is inefficient, but until we get involved and do something different we can expect plenty more of the same. If insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, the American public may be ready for a padded cell and a straight-jacket.