Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sensing the Mood, and the Helix of History

I read a number of political blogs and columns on a regular basis, trying to be discerning about understanding the times and what we should do (see: men of Issachar) in order to lead our families well.

There is so much distressing news that it's not safe to read these things until you've spent time in the Word and are well-connected with our Lord.

I don't share much of what I read here on this blog because I fear I will discourage you more than encourage you. Two opinion pieces in the WSJ yesterday did seem worth relaying to you.

Peggy Noonan has a keen insight about the disheartened mindset of key leaders outside of Washington:

"The biggest threat to America right now is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, potential epidemics or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business."

She points out that increasingly people doubt the problems we're facing can be solved. And at the same time many people in government roles do not seem to understand that what is good and strong about the US can be harmed.

I think this is spot-on analysis, and recommend the article to you. Like so many opinion pieces, Ms. Noonan does not provide a prescription or solution.

I have commented to a number of friends that it may be a painful and good thing if Americans recognized the limits of government "solutions." But it's hard to see a way out. There have been desperate times in our history before (1790s, the 1860s, the 1930s, the 1970s) when citizens believed the end of the US was near.

Victor Davis Hanson points out some similarities between the challenges President Obama has "inherited" and what President Truman inherited. I believe it's important to study history not because history precisely repeats itself, but because news is pretty much the same things happening to different people. Time is not circular, but I could argue it feels helical to us. We're on the same side of the helix as in the past, and so events look similar. History is available to us to study and learn from (if we will.)


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