Anyone who knows me knows that I am disappointed in the direction the United States is going these days. I continue to be bewildered that the American people tolerate the wholesale changes being made to our political system with little more than a whimper. While I think it is dangerous to categorize people too broadly, the present day American political landscape can be described broadly as being made up three groups. The first is the group that understands what the collectivists wants to do and supports it. When I say they support it, I mean that not only do they believe it is right, they are taking action to achieve the goals. The second group are the people who oppose every move the collectivists are making. At the moment they don’t have a voice in our political system, as those politicians who say they agree with the dissenters lack the courage to take any action. The third group is quite simply not actively involved on either side because they just don’t care.
The ancient Roman government had a saying that if you gave the people “bread and circuses”, that is to say benefits and entertainment, you could govern in any way you chose. I look at the political landscape today and can see the truth in this. 120 million Americans voted in the last presidential election. 300 million people live here. Why do so few vote? Many people look at politics as a pastime, like you would look at a sport. Some people are interested in soccer. A lot aren’t, so they don’t watch the games. People who aren’t “fans” of politics often don’t “watch the games” because there are other pastimes they find more interesting.
I have also run into a lot of people who are not engaged in politics because they dislike the confrontation and convictions that go with strong political beliefs. They want us all to be tolerant of each other and live peaceful lives. I can’t blame them for those desires, but they are incredibly naïve.
In contemporary politics, polling is critical. Therefore you see the population broken into demographic groups and analyzed as statistics instead of people. When analyzing polling data it is easy to miss that these groups are made up of real people. When you see issues play out at your church or in your workplace, you can obtain insight into what people think and you can draw some conclusions about why things are going the way they are in the broader sense of contemporary politics.
Based on what I have observed at church and at the office, I assert that the group in the middle is the driving force in our culture at the moment. These people are decent people, but they don’t have confidence in what they believe. They don’t want to make waves or confront people. Maybe they don’t want to be distracted from their entertaining lives to be a part of something great.
The consequences of this political apathy are grave. Ideally, I think there should be a sense of responsibility that accompanies the right to choose your own leaders. I know it is controversial, but I would say that those who have no knowledge about the issues of the day should have to sacrifice their rights of suffrage, because they have shirked the responsibilities that are attached.
Obviously, that would never happen in this political climate. As a result, the lack of principles among the American apathetic is what is turning the United States from an exceptional nation into a below average one before our very eyes.