Today is the fateful day that for better or for worse Donald J Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States. This draws to a close a season of a bitter election season devoid of any philosophical substance with respect to America and everything that made the Office hallowed. The next 4 or 8 years may also lack the substance and gravitas that characterized previous administrations such as that of Reagon, Lincoln, or Washington. How did America get here?
Of course God can work with broken instruments but in general one cannot obtain what one hasn’t got. President Trump has not demonstrated a deep understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of the American project. Does he understand the dignity of the human person? Of inalienable rights? At no point in the debate did either candidate defend their values from such a principled stand. Nor does the average voter these days possess the capability to do the same.
Mass media and partisan politics have made American into a house built on sand, waiting to blow over against the strong will of the next plutocrat or populist (or maybe it already has). It’s against this dumbing down of the country that leads us to having universities that don’t understand freedom of speech, activists who don’t understand the dignity of human life, and government leaders and judges that don’t get religious freedom.
As it turns out, Trump does not symbolize American stepping down from their pedestal as a country to emulate, his inauguration makes official the creeping idiocracy inevitably brought on by popular culture’s failure to nourish the populace with values and principles that produce thoughtful citizens.
The Catholic citizen’s response and responsibility must be to educate their families with such values and principles so as to support the Government when it does good things (such as protecting the unborn) with principled argumentation based on the Truth, and to oppose bad decisions (such as racially discriminating immigrants) on a similar basis. Out of this swamp true civic leaders can rise and restore the country to truly make it great again.
God keep and bless America.
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