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Tom Finneran: The Sound of Silence

Friday, November 09, 2012

 

Tom Finneran, GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTERâ„¢

Silence, blessed silence from the non-stop barrage of political ads. What a joy. I never thought that I’d actually enjoy seeing and hearing an ad for Taco Bell, but that’s the sensation I now feel. It’s certainly better than yet another replay of an Elizabeth Warren or Scott Brown ad.

Silence, blessed silence often suggests reflection. After such reflection, I share some musings after the big day---

•Democrats across the country are a) ecstatic, b) relieved, and c) convinced that their ascendancy is politically permanent. Regarding that assumed ascendancy, they should be wary, lest the worst of their tendencies drive the nation in the wrong direction.

•Republicans across the country are despondent, so much so that they seem in need of clinical counseling; perhaps a referral under Obamacare can be arranged for those in most serious distress.

•The United States can no longer be described as a “center-right” nation; it is not. An allegedly center-right nation was given a center–right candidate and a center-left candidate and, in the midst of a horrific economy, the nation chose the center-left candidate. Admittedly, it was a close election, but close only counts in horseshoes. The center-right candidate lost and the center-right party got pummeled.

•Is New Hampshire drunk? The state lurched to the Republicans two years ago in the most decisive fashion and then yesterday, a mere two years after diving head-first into the Republican tank, the state lurched back to the Democrats in an across-the-board victory. If you and I lurched that lopsidedly when walking down the street, we’d be put in protective custody.

•Two of the biggest losers this election season were the Catholic bishops and Chris Christie; Republicans are smarting today and searching for scapegoats. “Calling Chris Christie, calling Chris Christie……”  And right on cue, here comes Chris, considerably larger than life and, in Republican eyes, lower than a snake for his over-the-top embrace of President Obama during the Hurricane Sandy aftermath. Adding insult to injury, tough-guy Chris then goes blubbery and teary-eyed, like a love-struck teenager, over an Obama-arranged phone call from Bruce Springsteen. This is what passes for leadership? He has hurt himself badly with Republicans everywhere.

•Regarding the Catholic bishops, and speaking as a deeply saddened practicing Catholic, they are virtually useless as a political force. I suspect that the decline in their moral authority and political effectiveness goes well beyond the sex abuse scandals of the past. They are fighting major cultural and social shifts, with no discernible effect. They seem like slow-footed dinosaurs, and yet the society needs, almost craves, moral judgement and moral authority.  I pray for them and for our country.

•The country has not had a fiscally conservative President since 1963—almost fifty years ago. In fact, the last three fiscally responsible Presidents were Truman, Eisenhower, and JFK. Everyone else, including political conservatives’ hero Ronald Reagan, ran up major deficits and/or engaged in accounting games and gimmicks. The worst offenders, up until President Obama, were Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican. The collective damage they have done is staggering and it includes the hypnotic effect of pretending that we can have it all, now, without pain and without a price. We have become a silly nation, deceiving ourselves and deceiving our children. There should be hell to pay but America, insensate, is tuning in to the next Idol. China must be laughing at us.

•I wonder what President Obama has in mind when he talks about “nation-building” at home. We are broke, busted, destitute, bankrupt, and penniless, lacking funds and lacking credibility. If you were a lender, would you make us a loan?

Let’s hope, and pray, that America thrives in the years ahead. Pray for President Obama and his family. Pray for Mitt Romney and his family. They entered an arena that is daunting to the rest of us. They gave us choices to make. We have bestowed our judgement upon their efforts. They now need God’s strength and wisdom.

Cherish life.

 

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