Roger Marolt: How about we start with Making America Good Again
Forget about making America great again. We need to make it good. Children are massacred in our schools by mad gunmen. People are martyred in places of worship. Shoppers are executed in store aisles. People out for an evening of entertainment are gunned down inside nightclubs, movie theaters and at concert venues. People exact vengeance with automatic rifles in the offices they work in. We are a country rotting from the inside out and from head to toe.
I don’t know if our decay begins with violent video games, the proliferation of pornography, social media bullying and bragging, television, movies, substance abuse, the widening wealth gap, fighting over immigration, the media, or the cultural embrace of materialism where increasingly our self-worth becomes more dependent on what we own. I do know these things encourage us to objectify the human being and that we continue to get sicker.
We are a society of objectification. The human form is a disposable thing. We no longer see the person inside the flesh, the soul protecting the spark of life within. Without this recognition, a person becomes nothing more than a target and it doesn’t end only with firing a bullet into it, either. Clergy can as easily destroy a life by molesting the form of the child carrying it. Teachers, coaches, Boy Scout leaders and billionaires with private islands do the same to what they see as mere mounds of flesh. Business leaders exchanging promises of opportunity in exchange for sex have been overcome by this proliferation of blindness to the truth, too.
Racism, sexism and all forms of bigotry and discrimination are rooted in this epitome of materialism. Seeing people as mere objects without souls is the thing that prevents others from considering them as anything but disposable after they serve an immediate need or pose an inflated threat. Like a cheap appliance from a big-box retailer, they are attained for a single use and are afterward discarded without a thought, knowing the next one can be had as cheaply when the need for it arises again.
That our country may still be the greatest nation on Earth is less a source of comfort than it is an indictment on the planet. A million laws passed will not alone abate this decline. Those are symptoms treated. Legislation may discourage targeted actions, but does not alter what embedded rot festers in the heart and mind. We have lost our guiding light in this country and are stumbling across the shadows of decency that our founders cast as they stood resolutely in the bright light exposing intolerance and inequality.
We have to be better. We can no longer justify employing evil means that we believe might lead to good ends. We have to see this as the irreconcilable contradiction that it is. We must recognize that tough love is more often than not used as an excuse to give in to our worst impulses. Our best alternative is to simply be good.
We must choose good people to lead. This should be the primary criteria for electability. We have tried everything else. All campaign promises are susceptible to amnesia. All ideas can be manipulated out of enactment by rhetoric. Smooth talk is as cheap as any other. Only the foundational embodiment of moral principles held dear by good people are not subject to normal political manipulations.
This is not a claim that persons of high ideal are perfect in judgment and execution of their ideals, but their sincerity of effort will inspire. Their mistakes will be easier to forgive. Lapses in judgment have a better chance to self-correct. Knowing the primary motive, to do the right thing, will keep us from second-guessing what on earth is going on around here.
We cannot afford to trust leaders who consider those with opposing ideas to be the enemy. We cannot sleep easy electing those who would lie to boost their egos. We cannot follow those who do not believe there exists absolute truth, even if we must put in great effort to discover it. We cannot affirm people demonstrating patterns of unacceptable moral and ethical behaviors in their personal lives doing better with the lives of the many they represent. We need to understand that a leader willing to speak disparagingly and act recklessly against any group of people based on race, gender or religious beliefs does not see anyone as more than objects.
We need to be good. We need to demand good people lead us. Nothing matters more than this.
Roger Marolt thinks we need to elect a hero to run our country and doesn’t care what their political affiliation is. Email at email@example.com.