October 16, 2006

Still Slouching?

In the current issue of the Cato Policy Report, our libertarian friends at the Cato Institute dismiss the idea that America is suffering from widespread "cultural decay" or is "slouching toward Gomorrah." Regrettably, I cannot agree with Cato's optimistic assessment. As it happens, 10 years ago this month I had a piece in The Oklahoman on this topic (posted below). It doesn't seem to me that much has changed for the better in 10 years, but if I'm wrong please post a comment and let me know.
People Responsible for Country's Well-Being

By Brandon Dutcher

Counting down to November 5, the lament is heard with increasing frequency: "What is this country coming to? The voters know the Clintons are liars, cheats, and all-around moral lepers, yet they're going to re-elect them anyway!"

At first blush, the incredulity seems justified. But before we jump all over the Clintons, let's recall Bob Dole's perceptive observation that a presidential campaign is "a mirror held up to America." Indeed, our rulers derive their powers "from the consent of the governed," our nation's political charter reminds us.

Since governing authority vests ultimately in the people, we the people are responsible for the well-being of our country. "If you still do wickedly," the Scriptures warn, "you shall be swept away, both you and your king."

News flash: We're still doing wickedly. Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, Judge Robert Bork's majestic summary of "the decadence and nihilism that are growing apace in America," reveals all too clearly that we the people are as morally adrift as our governors. Clinton & Co. behave like consenting adults, but only with our consent. We "not only do the same" immoral deeds, to use St. Paul's words, "but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."

So it doesn't do us much good to blame the Clintons -- they're simply the reflection in that "mirror held up to America." We the people are responsible for a "moral chaos" that requires nearly 400 pages for Bork to describe. We the people have murdered 30 million of our own children. We the people are idolaters, looking not to our Father but to Big Brother for sustenance. As one economist says, "The public laughs at infidelity and then goes out to vote for lifetime security through government guarantees." And we're surprised when we end up with the Clintons?

We shouldn't be. God is not mocked. If we insist on being slaves to sin, He has every right to make us slaves to petty tyrants.

"Cultures do decline, and sometimes die," and Bork is not altogether optimistic we can avoid the "desolate and sordid precincts of Gomorrah." But it is possible. Best-case scenario: a "religious revival" could "produce a moral and spiritual regeneration" which would allow us to roll back modern liberalism.

Our governors might repent, but let's not hold our breath. It must start with us, the governed.

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