"Our Country!
In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right;
but right or wrong, our country!"

    --Commodore Stephen Decatur

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The View at the Bottom of the Cliff

Cliffs do not loom

As the old carol goes, "fast away the old year passes." In our frantic and impatient modern world there are never enough hours in the day, but with the shortness of the days in this bleak midwinter the sense of time passing far too quickly is only heightened. Paradoxically, these last fleeting and precious moments of the year are also a time to pause and take stock of where we have been and where we are going. At the end of the two-thousand twelfth year of our Lord, there is much to consider.

The Age of Obama has been extended for another four years and the so-called "fiscal cliff" is no longer merely "looming" [N.B., this should be a top contender for the cliche of the year], but is now a rumbling avalanche sliding down the mountain of debt and red tape to crush and bury us all. At the same time as we stare with horror into this thundering torrent of such immense and unimaginably massive doom it is also a time to consider how much less we have as well.

The liberals tell us that we are too fat, so we must have less food, less salt, less sugar, less trans-fats (whatever those are), and less carbohydrates. We must also have less alcohol, less smoking, and less of anything fun. This dread scourge does not only afflict us as adults though. Our children are too fat as well and there are too many of them. We need smaller children in smaller classrooms. In this respect, the liberals may get their wish, because we already have fewer children in smaller families. There are now fewer families with both parents present than there are children with single mothers or born out of wedlock.

The liberals tell us that the earth is getting warmer (or colder depending on who you ask and when), so we need to use less gasoline and have smaller cars (or no cars at all) and drive slower and not travel as far. We must use less coal, so that means less electricity, less warmth, less energy, and less light. We are told to spend more time outdoors, but there is less of that too. There is less solitude and less wilderness and the little that is left is farther away and harder to get to. There is less quality entertainment. There are fewer movies about heroic men. Perhaps there are fewer heroic men to make movies about, or perhaps it is because the liberals have demonized and deconstructed all the heroes of our past and turned them into villains.

The liberals tell us that we must not offend, so there is less prayer, less faith, less Christmas, less God. There are fewer practicing Christians. Perhaps it falls under entertainment, but there is less Tebow too. Hollywood celebrities with broken lives tell us how to live so it should not astonish us that there is less virtue, less fidelity, and less modesty. Dishonest politicians tell us they have all the answers and yet there are fewer principles, less integrity, less responsibility, less humility, less cooperation, and less trust in our public institutions. Despite having less freedom (or maybe because of it) there is less security and less peace. There is less pride in America, less dreaming, less exploration, and less hope for the future.

The liberal solution always seems to be less of something. There is too much violence, so we need fewer guns. There is too much inequality, so we need less prosperity. There is too much suffering, so we need less comfort. There is too much death, so we need less life. In the end, that last point encapsulates the rest. There seems to just be less for us to give and less of anything at all. People are tired and worn and holding on desperately for something to change, but they are less and less sure what that something even is. People are yearning for more. We want more freedom. We want more hope. We want more heroes. We want more LIFE. Let us pray that in the new year we may find some.

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