The Revolutionary Reformation

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by jcwill5

Today is not only All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), it’s also Reformation Day.

Few of us understand what Martin Luther was trying to do on Oct. 31, 1517, and how it began a series of events we came to know as the Protestant Reformation.

Let me see if I can help with that–in case you’re interested!

The five major tenants of the Reformation:

1) By Christ alone.

Jesus Christ is the sole and perfect Agent of our salvation.

Therefore, no other intermediaries are needed between us and God, and His sacrificial death and perfectly righteous life are the sole basis of a right relationship with God.

This sets us free from performance treadmills and religious systems based on the few outperforming all others and binding everyone’s conscience to their system.

It was a direct challenge to those on the top of the religious/social pyramid, and great news to those at the bottom or completely outside the pyramid.

You can imagine why this made the Medieval Catholic church very unhappy…

2) By grace alone

This is about God’s heart and what God gives to sinners (i.e. – what flows through the pipeline of faith and the direction of that flow).

Christ loved us so much He died to give sinners His righteousness and very life, and loving generosity is what motivated God to give His “everything” to us.

We are saved in spite of ourselves, and need God to intervene from the outside to completely change us on the inside– because we are powerless to fix ourselves.

But once received, gratitude for grace (loving God in response to His love) becomes the fuel of our growth and service.

People who trade in guilt or fear to keep others down or keep others passive and subservient would not like this teaching.

It makes them rather unnecessary.

Yet it puts the spotlight on our own soul, because….

An ashamed pride that spurns charity, and not bad conduct, is the main barrier between us and salvation.

3) By Faith Alone

This point centers on the conduit of salvation (the pipeline).

We get off the performance treadmill (Or we let go of our angry rebellion against the treadmill), and forsake trusting in our selves and what we do.

And we stop listening to voices inside of us or outside of us that crack the whip, pressure us to do more, be better, and try harder, and/or offer an easy, magical system of managing life and self-fixing.

Instead, we entrust our selves to Christ, and trust Him to provide everything needed for salvation, life, etc.

That threatens the religious monopoly of the controllers, but it also puts the spotlight on our own soul, because…

A wounded pride that asserts, “I’ve done enough and suffered enough! I have it all under control!” is the main barrier between us and salvation.

4) The Bible alone

This point is about the divine guarantees and sole authority under-girding our salvation.

God’s written Self-revelation (not institutions or traditions or the self) is the supreme court and final determiner of what we are to believe and how we are to live.

This allows us to “fact-check” religious institutions, leaders, and movements against God’s revelation, and to compare the teachings and practices of the New Testament church to what’s happening today, and see if we’re drifting from it.

Which removes a lot of power and blind control from religious leaders who like to keep the masses ignorant and dancing to their tune.

But notice it also puts the spotlight on our own soul, because….

A stubborn pride that asserts, “I have the final say-so for me! I will do it my own way!” is the main barrier between us and salvation.

5) The priesthood of all believers

This is about the privileges and responsibilities that flow from salvation.

All work and all professions are now “the ministry” for believers and are honorable before God.

Those in the priesthood or the religious orders suddenly aren’t so special, superior, or indispensable.

They are demoted, while the rest of us are greatly elevated in dignity, and also in personal responsibility.

We can no longer justify passively allowing a few religious professionals to do all the work for the rest of us.

We each have a job in God’s kingdom, are accountable to Him for how diligently and well we do it, and so it’s time to make the most of it!

Hence, the Protestant work ethic.

You may not like the Reformation, and you may even disagree with these core teachings, but it’s undeniable they revolutionized the Western world back then.

And have the potential to revolutionize things again!

Public Health vs. the Boundless Self

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by jcwill5

There’s a hot debate going on right how.

It all about limiting the public contact of just-returned health workers who’ve treated Ebola patients in Africa.

I don’t know what’s worse:  the nurse who has threatened to sue New Jersey because she’s being forced to spend three weeks in quarantine after treating Ebola patients in Africa?

Or the doctor in New York who returned after treating Ebola patients in Africa, and who rode the subway all over Manhattan and went bowling even after he started to feel sluggish and unwell?

Notice that both situations have a common mentality:

I should be able to do anything and everything I want until my symptoms force me to call the CDC and stop.

And I decide when that time is and I monitor myself.

And limiting me in any way, even preventatively for a limited time for the public good, is a violation of my rights.

And I don’t really give a rip over how it might make other people feel.

My rights and my wishes and my needs come first….always!

Notice we are not talking about all people returning from these African countries, but only those health care workers who had high contact with Ebola patients.

And notice we’re not talking about forever, but 21 days from the last contact with an Ebola patient.

Now I am well aware that, at this point, Ebola is spread through exposure to bodily fluids that come into contact with the skin.

And I am well aware that the health care workers in Africa have used excellent precautions and done all they can and deserve great honor for their sacrifices.

What concerns me in all this is the complete inability/unwillingness to consider the welfare and the feelings of others.

We used to teach and expect mature self-sacrifice, self-restraint, and self-limitation for the welfare of others, and we used to worship a God who modeled this on the Cross.

Maybe the doctor in New York felt it was OK for him to ride the subway, go bowling, etc.

But did he ever consider the wishes of his fellow bowlers and subway riders?

They certainly were given no choice.

And, here’s the sad part, I don’t think their wishes ever entered into the equation.

It was totally and only an individual decision and the self was the only measuring stick.

Strangely, very strangely, these two health humanitarians will travel halfway across the world to help others but won’t show much consideration for the people sitting right next to them.

So the welfare of our entire society is left to the whims of these unbounded individuals.

Is it really that much of a shock that many of us don’t want to entrust our fate to their royal whims?

In both personal decision-making and in public policy, we are so skewed towards absolute individualism and self-supremacy that we have to resort to the opposite extreme of locking fools up and forcing them to be isolated when selves cannot be trusted.

Then the current administration chides the state governments for putting boundaries on unbounded individuals.

All these governmental responses miss a crucial point and show an appalling moral blindness.

Without self-restraint, and factoring into the equation the needs and wishes of others, we almost have to jail or involuntarily quarantine people to get them to do the right thing for 21 days.

And that is far, far most disturbing to me than the Ebola virus.

We are being forced to choose between the extremes of anarchy and authoritarianism.  

Between boundless selves or jailed selves.

And neither path is workable, good, or offers us much hope for the future.

Our liberties, and our future as a society, will  only be secured when we have a critical mass of people who consistently and voluntarily sacrifice their selves for the good of others, and for the good of all.

It’s when we get fed up with our selfish, sinful, never-satisfied selves, realize we are serving an inner tyrant, and get off the throne of the universe.

Then we turn our lives and our wills over to a God who can restore us to sanity, and experience a spiritual awakening through His Son’s sacrifice on the Cross.

Have been supremely and sacrificially love at our worst, we begin to care about others and put them ahead of ourselves.

We become free.

There is a solution!

Who Will Love the Whole?

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2014 by jcwill5

This week I have found myself involved in three separate situations with one thread in common:  people are pursuing a course of action that seems right for them individually, but which are, in fact, quite harmful to their group as a whole.

The welfare of the whole is unprotected and the unity of the whole is undermined.

In fact, there is such blind pursuit of naked self-interest among individuals that there is no whole left.

Narcissism has become the new normal.  

And loyalty to self is paramount and trumps all other ties.

No longer do spouses put the welfare of their marriage ahead of their individual wants and demands.

No longer do parents put the welfare of their family ahead of their adult pleasures and pursuits.

No longer do politicians and political parties put the welfare of our nation ahead of their partisan advantages and agendas.

No longer do pastors and parishioners put the welfare of the church ahead of their personal preferences and whims.

It’s every man for himself.

Not that selfishness is new.   Not that narcissists haven’t always been among us.

Not that selfishness isn’t found inside all of us.  Not that selfishness hasn’t always been a problem.

It’s the degree to which it has taken hold, and the lack of a countervailing force pushing back against blind, naked self-interest.

It’s selfishness on steroids.

When people are loyal to nothing and nobody beyond their self, no bonds of relationship can long survive.

Spouses used to sacrifice their own immediate wants for the long-term welfare of their marriage. But most don’t do that anymore.

Parents used to sacrifice their own immediate wants for the long-term welfare of their family. But most don’t do that anymore.

Politicians and political parties used to regularly put the welfare of the country first, and their party’s advantage second.  But most don’t do that anymore and we don’t elect them if they do.

Pastors and congregations used to regularly put the welfare of the church ahead of their own preferences or advantages. But that’s not true in most churches anymore.

We are at all times being urged to fight for my self, my pocketbook, my family, my party, my ideology, my will, and my way.

Me. Mine. My.  Not we, ours, or us.

We have a gaping hole in our family and religious upbringing, and in the reigning philosophies of our time.

And that hole is a certain kind of love called by agape love.

This kind of love is a self-sacrificing love that voluntarily serves the welfare of others in a way that redeems them.

It looks to the welfare of the whole, and it certainly cares for individuals.

It looks to the long-term, and not just the short-term.

It recognizes that we are more than individuals, we are members of a group.

It understands that our group needs the protection, nurture, care, and costly sacrifices of every person in it to survive and thrive.

It is well aware that individuals may want things that would be destructive to the welfare of the whole, and says no to them.

Because all relationships, and all groups, depend to one degree or another on self-sacrifice.

For your sake, I say no to myself and keep saying no.

For the love of the whole, we put to death self-gratifying urges that hurt the unity and integrity of the group.

Even if that individual is me and especially if that individual is me.

And why would we do this?  Why would we sacrifice our own advantages and interests for the sake of others and for the sake of the whole?

Because Someone has first loved us in that very same way.

He gave Himself for us on a cross and loved us to the uttermost in the way we needed most but least deserved.

So we owe a debt of love we can never repay, a “thank you” we can never say enough.

Our self is an endless vacuum that would consume the entire universe if it could, and remain dissatisfied and more empty than when it began.

Scrap away the surface, and one finds that the end result of all this self-absorption is misery, addiction, boredom, and death.

And the only thing that can satisfy us forever is greater than the  universe and is Himself infinitely filling.

In other words, the cure for narcissism is to allow our vacuous, grasping, sinful selves to be loved by God.

Receiving His love and being filled with His love is the only answer.

Losing our selves in Him is finding our true selves.

Dying to our old self in Him is the gateway to being reborn a brand new person.

A new person who cares for others, and who puts the interests of the whole ahead of his or herself.

In secular philosophy, we have either individualism or collectivism.

The person at the expense of the group or the group at the expense of the person.

In Christ, we love both individuals and the whole group.

So we labor for the welfare of both with His boundless energy and overflowing love.

There is a solution!

Taming the Beast Outside

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by jcwill5

What does one do when his or her government is too big to work?

How do we get out of the dead end we find ourselves in:  expecting too much from our government and getting an increasingly incompetent, overwhelmed government instead.

Part of the answer is understanding what we have lost

Our government didn’t exponentially grow for no reason at all.

It grew because there was and is a moral vacuum in the lives of its citizens.

As we retreated into ourselves, it advanced.

As we withdrew from the moral sphere, it occupied it.

But we were also led into that moral retreat.

Having worked (and continuing to work) to destroy the moral center and break free of all constraints, our out-of-touch and pseudo-sympathetic elites have nothing viable to replace it with.

They have expanded their importance, intruding into area after area of life with greater and greater regulation, and like it that way!

Following their lead, the majority of our citizens have also broken free of all restraints and have enthroned their Self at the summit of all meaning and importance.

So now both the elites, and the lawless masses, have a vested interest in personal irresponsibility and an all-responsible government.

Our Founding Fathers warned us that our system was predicated on a moral citizenry, a system that balanced liberty with God’s Law.

They predicted that when the citizens realized they could use the government to enrich themselves, to take money from others and give it to themselves, the end of true liberty would soon come.

The missing something is a repentant, morally responsible, caring citizenry under God.

The reason we are in this predicament is because a critical mass of individuals no longer have a moral center, and no longer come from families that instill that moral center early in life.

It is why more than one Founding Father noted that our system is built entirely on the premise of a moral citizenry.

Children no longer memorize and live by the Ten Commandments, and no longer taught to practice the Golden Rule.

Their Lord is no longer God but self, so their Savior is no longer Jesus Christ but the government.

So the first step towards changing things is repenting of our autonomy, our moral lawlessness, our abdication of personal responsibility for the welfare of others, and our all-consuming, devouring from within, self-idolatry.

It’s not “the government is the problem” or “they are the problem.”

It’s “I am the problem.  Neither Government nor I can solve the problem of me.  But God can!”

It’s turning our life and our will over to God, and taking ourselves out of our own care and placing it into His care.

My Story

I grew up a very privileged child of affluence, to parents who pretty much left me alone and who left me to fend for myself.

I was raised to cherish privacy, personal autonomy, and self interest.

By the time I was in my late teen’s, I was a lawless, vicious, grasping person with no mercy and no concern for others.

But I was also an addicted, miserable, out-of-control person that tried belief after belief looking for a way out.

Then Christ chased me down and began to introduce Himself to me–giving me the space to hit bottom and the freedom to realize turning over control to Him was the only way out.

And when I did finally surrender, He filled me with His compassionate, uplifting, caring, honest Self, making me a new person.

Unlike the man I used to be, I began to care about others and serve others.

I began to be a force for goodness and healing and reconciling people to God, because I was under His influence.

I began to obey laws, respect boundaries, and be a man of peace.

I became a low-maintenance citizen that met needs and decreased the crisis in others.

Which is why, in all honesty, I confidently say that the only cure for bloatocracy and anarchy is conversion.

When a critical mass of people aren’t just religious or moral, but converted by Christ and turned into new people, then the goodness rippling out from them will begin to repair, restore, and heal the broken moral foundations of our society.

There won’t be nearly as much for any government to do.

Instead of overthrowing a government, conversion makes it morally redundant.

The inner government of God, restraining evil and releasing His goodness through willing hearts, tames the beast within, and therefore tames the beast outside.

So the challenge isn’t out there.  It’s really in here.

The challenge is on all of us and each of us:  be converted into new people by Christ, and regaining a living, free moral center, or go on as we are and ending up in a failed stated in a failed society.

There is a solution!

Bloatocracy and Ineptocracy

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by jcwill5

The recent Ebola follies of the U.S. health care system has me asking a question:

Is it possible for a government to attempt to do so many things all at once and grow to such a large size that it’s beyond the capacity of human beings to manage it?

Infinite ambitions to meet an ever expanding circle of needs (or clamp down on an ever expanding circle of rebellion) requires an ever expanding number of  laws to create programs or enforce boundaries.

All these legally mandated programs and limits require an endlessly growing number of ever minuscule and exacting laws, regulations, policies, procedures, court rulings, etc.

All these multiplied, ever specific, always expanding spheres of governmental provision and supervision require increasing amounts of people to design, implement, and maintain them.

So these ever growing bureaucracies themselves require ever increasing amounts of supervision so they do what they’re supposed to do.

So, again, is there a point where no single human being (like the U.S. President) or group of human beings (his cabinet and all department heads) can possibly manage it?

What we have, in such a case, is bloatocracy.

In a bloatocratic system, it is beyond the capacity of the ordinary citizen to be aware of, keep track of, and do all the laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures that are required of him or her.

In a bloatocratic system, more and more is expected of the central government by a citizenry accustomed to doing less and less and marked by a mentality that says, “Things are too big and too entrenched to change, so why bother?.”

In a bloatocratic  system, the multiplied laws, rules, regulations, and policies of the central government force private enterprises and subsidiary institutions (like local schools or hospitals) to themselves multiply laws, rules, etc. to comply with the bloatocratic State’s multiplied mandates.

Making junior bloatocracies out of them as well.

Workers, employees, customers, and users of these businesses and institutions find themselves increasingly frustrated and unable to walk through the paperwork required to do even the most basic things.

Creativity, initiative, and flexibility are all stifled and chocked off.  Frustration and rage skyrocket.

Then people find loopholes, ways of evasion and avoidance, to get their necessary business done.   Abuses multiply.

So the loopholes are closed, evaders are chased after, and the bloatocracy grows some more.

It would be scary indeed if not for another reality:  bloatocracy breeds ineptocracy.  

Because no one person or group of people can possibly manage all these governmental systems simultaneously and well, they break down.

Necessary, even crucial, tasks aren’t done.

The system is overwhelmed, works at cross purposes, and breaks down at numerous points.

It becomes stunningly incompetent in sphere after sphere, in crisis after crisis, no matter who is elected or which party controls which parts of the system.

Which probably keeps all of us from being locked up in jail.

Instead of being too big to fail, the government has become too big to work.

And, if not checked and reversed, it will risk becoming too big to work at all.

Haven’t you ever noticed how often decaying dictatorships are followed by failed states and anarchy?

It is the easiest thing in the world to transition from being too big to function to not functioning at all.

Bloatocracy breeds ineptocracy, and ineptocracy eventually breeds mass disregard, mass resignation, mass dissatisfaction, and mass rebellion.

Ineptocracy breeds anarchy in the end.

So, like turning around a poorly managed restaurant with poor service and demotivated employees, the key is doing fewer things and doing them outstandingly and consistently.

Which means vastly scaling back our out-of-control expectations and accepting hard limitations on our government.

It means closing whole departments and agencies, and eliminating unenforceable regulations and vastly simplifying whatever remains.

It means we need a Chef Ramsey-like approach, not another Oprah self-esteem session.

But that will create a vacuum.  And something needs to fill the vacuum.

And what will that something be?

Complicated Columbus

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by jcwill5

It has become as fashionable now to demonize Christopher Columbus as it once was to lionize him as a hero.

For example, Seattle recently voted to substitute Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Poor Christopher Columbus has gone from discoverer of America (which he thought was India) to genocidal despoiler of the happy, innocent, idyllic, native American peoples.

The holiday, which banks, post-offices, and government offices celebrate, was created to pay tribute to Columbus’ role as a discoverer and to please the large Italian-American voting block.

The Scandinavian-Americans, of course, would say Leif Erickson is the true discoverer of America and have their own Leif Erickson Day.

But that’s another story.

I have two problems with turning Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples Day.

First, as a truth-seeker, I loath revisionist history.

Revisionist history is a re-writing the history books to advance a political agenda, usually on behalf of a victimized group the historian want to champion, or a class-based economic theory-of-everything (like communism) the historian wants to advocate.

So everything is run through the grid of this agenda, and the result is a “reinterpretation” of people like Christopher Columbus.

Many of the revisionists hate the United States and our capitalist system with a rabid kind of hatred.

Our country does nothing good and never did anything good.

We are always the villain in their story, always a force for oppression and destruction, and ought to be ashamed of ourselves for being either male, white, European-descended, or middle class.

We are the oppressor class or race, in other words.

And these self-appointed champions of the oppressed are going to punish us and keep us down.

So history is their weapon to bludgeon their target group by championing the opposite group.

The second and most important problem is revisionist history does justice to nobody.

Christopher Columbus, for example, was neither the all-good heroic discoverer of the New World nor the all-bad destroyer of the native peoples.

He was a little of both.

He had mixed motives.

He promoted his own glory, and yet worked for his royal patrons Ferdinand and Isabel.

He lusted after gold, yet wanted to bring the gospel to lost peoples.

He displayed undaunted courage in navigating the Atlantic, yet lied to his crew to protect his own position as captain.

His life contained both stunning triumphs, and terrible tragedies.

He was honored by Spain, yet stabbed in the back and intrigued against at Court.

His men did some good things, and yet committed outrages.

He was a truly great explorer of oceans, and a really lousy governor when on land.

Like it or not, Columbus did indeed open the door to the European mass migrations, and therefore to the noblest and foulest deeds done by all who followed him.

He opened the incredible exchanges of culture, agricultural produces, and advancements, and opened the door to new diseases, vicious conquistadors, and the destruction of advanced civilizations.

The truth is Columbus mirrors all of us, and it’s not comfortable viewing.

He mirrors back to us both noble traits we wish to emulate, and horrific evils we wish we could deny.

He shows us both the best and the worst about ourselves and our ancestors who came here.

And, by the way, the native peoples were equally cruel, enslaving, war-like, and vicious to their enemies on many occasions.

Imperialist historians of yesteryear and revisionist historians of today are white-washers of their favored group.

The truth is the human race is a decidedly mixed bag, a frustrating combination of the best and the worst.

Even the best of us are sinners who sin greatly and often and who have tragic flaws.

Even the worst of us are redeemable and made in God’s image.

There are no pure heroes without a streak of hypocrisy, nor are there any one-dimensional villains who were weren’t hurt in some way before turning to evil.

So we can rightfully celebrate the discovery of the New World, and humbly own the sin that marks our ethnic and national history.

It’s a cause for great joy, and for a broken heart, too.

And that, my friends, is the messy, uncomfortable truth!

Jerk-ocracy

Posted in Humble musings on today's culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by jcwill5

It won’t surprise anyone reading this blog to be told we are a dangerously and deeply divided people.

Americans have always had their deep differences, but this is only the second time in our history so many of us have formed our deepest personal identities around our political ideologies.

In the run-up to the Civil War, Northern and Southern folk began to base their identities around pro- and anti-slavery ideologies.

They stopped socializing with people holding opposite views, and began to see everything happening in Washington D.C. as advancing or blocking slavery.

Congress was stalemated and irreconcilable.   Tempers began to increase. Tensions kept getting more inflamed.

Attempts by moderates to compromise only made each side angrier and backfired.

Eventually, each side viewed the other as “the enemy”, as monsters who had to be stopped no matter what.

Sound familiar?

What changed between 1810 and 1860 was the growth of abolitionism and succession/pro-slavery views into all-encompassing ideologies in a critical mass of people.

Each side saw the opposite ideology as aggressive, as a threat to their livelihood and cherished way of life, as a moral evil they could not abide.

There was and could never be a middle ground.

So each side began to use legislation and the courts as a tool to impose its agenda on the other side.

Each side began to seek enough seats in Congress and enough spots on the Supreme Court to obtain final victory.

People stopped thinking of themselves as Americans and began to see themselves as Northerners or Southerners, and the other side as hated foreigners.

It made the Civil War not only possible, but inevitable.

And it’s not something we ever want to repeat.

So what we need right now are leaders who don’t merely pander to ideologies, or who inflame divisions to obtain power, or who demonize the opposition for short-term political gain.

What we need are leaders who help us re-discover our shared core as Americans, and build it up over a long season.

What we need are leaders who can can persuade their own side to take the humble road.

Leaders who can craft over-arching, long-range settlements that address the worst fears of the other side.

Leaders who will work with their side to never impose their ideology on the unwilling, however great their side’s majority in Congress or on the Supreme Court.

What we are talking about here is respecting the conscience of others who disagree with us.

For example, it is sheer stupidity to require pro-life taxpayers to subsidize abortions, to require traditionally moral people to subsidize the morning after pill, etc.

It is folly to require people who cherish traditional marriage to accept, pay for, and enable cohabiting, homosexual marriage, or promiscuity.

Since so much of our ideological polarization is rooted in deeply-held religious (or non-religious) beliefs, the smartest move both parties can make is to craft the broadest possible exemptions and conscience clauses in matters of greatest contention.

And this area, to nobody’s surprise, is centered around sexual practices and religion.

And, most controversially, in order to work these religious exemptions and conscience clause opt-outs need to be allowed even in matters of housing, hiring, service, public accommodation, and employment.

Such a generous policy would eliminate 99% of the contentions on these issues, calming everyone down and deescalating the situation.

It would get the government out of the business of coercion, of using the law to force people of sincere conscience to pay for or enable what they morally abhor.

It would cut off the ability of activists to use legal methods to attack those they disagree with, taking away the incentive for doing it.

Which is precisely why the odds are greatly against such a sensible, board, long-range solution.

Fanatical people don’t want to allow others to be left alone, demand that everyone conform and even applaud their views, and go hunting for fights to silence or intimidate their foes.

They don’t respect consciences, and their goal is not to persuade, but to punish those who disagree and who won’t conform to their ideological, rabid agenda.

Sadly, there are fanatics on all sides.   The old-fashioned word for them is jerks.

Instead of unleashing the jerks, the grown-ups in each major party need to side-line and restrain them.

Each side’s jerks are provoking the other side’s jerks, and it is tearing our nation apart.

Most of us are tired of living in a Jerk-ocracy.  Which is why this election continues to zig and zag.  And why neither party gets it.

Meanwhile, the larger, long-range issues the national debt are unresolved, festering, and becoming exponentially more difficult to remedy with every passing year.

The alternative?

A second Civil War.

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