What does the election reveal about us?

This piece by George Weigel is perhaps the most insightful commentary that I have read yet about the meaning of Tuesday’s election. Here are some highlights, but pay particular attention to the conclusion.

The American culture war has been markedly intensified, as those who booed God, celebrated an unfettered abortion license, canonized Sandra Fluke, and sacramentalized sodomy at the Democratic National Convention will have been emboldened to advance the cause of lifestyle libertinism through coercive state power, thus deepening the danger of what a noted Bavarian theologian calls the “dictatorship of relativism.”

Religious freedom and civil society are now in greater jeopardy than ever, as what was already the most secularist and statist administration in history will, unfettered by reelection concerns, accelerate its efforts to bring free voluntary associations to heel as de facto extensions of the state…

“Missing greatness,” it turns out, is not just a function of who’s in charge. It’s a result of democratic citizens’ not paying attention. Or worse, it’s the result of citizens’ suffering such severe ideological glaucoma that they cannot see what is in front of them…

It takes a certain kind of people, living certain indispensable virtues, to make the market and democracy work so that justice, prosperity, and human flourishing are the net results of freedom. That elementary truth — recognized by the Founders, ignored by the newly reelected administration, and avoided by libertarians and Republican campaign consultants — has to be at the center of the conversation about the American future, and about playing good defense during the next four challenging years.

The most significant thing about Tuesday’s election results are what they reveal about who we are as a people. Is there a statesman in American political life that is willing and capable to talk about that?

12 Responses to What does the election reveal about us?

  1. bibchr November 9, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Okay okay OKAY, Denny.

    I’ll do it.

    (c:

    • Denny Burk November 9, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      I’ll be waiting with bated breath!

  2. Tom Parker November 9, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I think the old clip from Hee Haw about–“Gloom despair and agony on me ” describes the piece by Wiegel.

    Are you folks going to sit around and whine and cry about what is happening in the world or preach the Gospel and use words if necessary.

    The Republican Presidential candidate and other Republican candidates lost and you would think it is the end of the world for the SBC and others.

    I do not get it.

  3. Dan Bruce November 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    In the second point made in the article linked above, Weigel said:

    “A war in the Middle East is now almost certain, and sooner rather than later; as if the previous three and a half years of fecklessness were not enough, the cast of mind manifest in the administration’s abdication of responsibility in Benghazi will have likely convinced a critical mass of the Israeli leadership that they have no choice but to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in self-defense. ”

    This is contrasted with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, who said yesterday (November 8) that …

    “I think today we can safely say that we are very much on the same page and will continue to follow the lead of the U.S. I have full confidence knowing not only the president’s commitment, but also his team. In a way I see an advantage by the continuity of the administration being very seasoned, knowing very well the Iran file and portfolio, to continue and make sure Iran won’t become nuclear. We very much trust the leadership of the U.S., the leadership of President Obama. We have no better friend than President Obama.”

    I think I trust more what the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister says about America’s relationship with Israel and the administration than what Weigel writes.

    • Dan Bruce November 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Typo alert. That last line should read “Deputy Foreign MInister.”

      As for the Israeli Defense MInister, Ehud Barak said in a CNN interview on July 30, before the election, “Obama has done more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regards to Israeli security]. From my point of view as defense minister [US-Israeli relations] are extremely good, extremely deep and profound.”

  4. Don Johnson November 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    It was an open secret that the politicians in current power in Israel wanted Romney to win. Now they need to make the best of the reality they are facing. So they salute the victor. But I assess it is just puffery and a head fake. They realize they may need to go it alone and how they will not need to, what else is new?

    Here is my (easy) prediction on the US economy, 2013 will be worse than 2012, 2014 will be worse than 2013, etc. unless and until there is a change in course that does not demonize profit-seeking.

    • James Stanton November 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Don, if Israel truly feels it is in imminent danger from any threat it has the ability to deal with that threat as it sees fit. What is in the interests of the government of Israel is not necessarily in the best interest of the American people and state.

      Too many people conflate support for Israel as God’s chosen with support for their often counterproductive foreign policy.

      What Israel needs is more peacemakers. So do we, for that matter.

      Lastly, profit seekers don’t stop seeking profit because they perceive demonization. As long as there is a probability of receiving a return on investment people will continue to seek profit in a variety of ways. The problem since 2008 has been lack of aggregate demand on the part of consumers. Wealthy folks have been continuing to make money all along.

  5. Don Johnson November 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Typo, read hope for how above.

  6. Rick Morton November 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Denny,

    This is an interesting and commonly held perspective in evangelical circles. I would love to get your reaction to my post of a couple of days ago:

    http://www.rickmortononline.com/where-do-we-go-from-here-an-open-letter-to-ev

    Thanks!

  7. larrygeiger November 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Once the baby boomers are co-opted into Obama’s minions by social security, socialized medicine and all the other goodies being passed out, it will be too late. The line has already be crossed.

    • Joshua Wooden November 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      The last time I checked, Republicans don’t want less spending on Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid, either. Two to one, they want more.

    • James Stanton November 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      Minions? Shameless.

      Those baby boomers you refer to voted primarily for Mitt Romney in spite of the fact that they receive more government benefits than any other group.

      Mitt Romney and other Republican politicians have been running around since 2010 claiming that Obama cut their Medicare.

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