Economy? Health? Politics?
Take your pick, but what if all these are solvable, and that eventually, each has a road to recovery. No, what if our diagnosis is totally wrong and that what we face reaches to the core.
What if we are in a moral crisis? The best picture of it is Dr. Fauci beside President Trump. He is a stethoscope for hire and he speaks power to truth, so that he can keep his job. What else can he do? As he said, he is not serving the truth, but at the Presidents will.
Once the republic forsakes truth, once honesty is no longer the prime civic virtue, then that disease is worse than COVID19. The reason why we cannot solve the Corona crisis is because that other virus, the virus that has hollowed out our hearts to lose all feeling, and eroded our souls to lose the guidance of conscience, is utterly rampant. We don’t need testing kits, we see it with the scandals of every day’s news cycle.
If leaders lie all the time to win votes, or that what is official policy on Monday is the opposite on Wednesday, then why do we expect them to be able to lead when telling the truth is not the difference of who you vote for but between who lives and who dies. When truth means survival, as it always has, and the republic has so got out of the habit of telling it, then the crisis is ultimately moral. Any other crisis might have political consequences but a moral crisis soon has mortal consequences. The ballot box turns into a coffin.
When the game of public power is played for private gain, then we know the pirates have taken over the ship of state. We are no longer on a journey of discovery. Our goal is plunder, rape and spoils. Mutiny is savagely suppressed. And everything is now for trade. Even Integrity is saleable. Those sage Republican voices in 2016 – Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, Senator Rubio, who told us that Trump was unfit are now his henchmen. Everyone has their price. its a mafia government run by the Don of the Coriolini’s.
There used to be some trustable guardians of the common good, the churches and the girl scouts and the Rotary club and the venerable Rabbis, where did they go? They too have faced their own moral crisis and paid for the professional Crisis managers who tutor them how to mould their image for damage control. Wells Fargo and friends pay millions to PR wizards to convince us they have changed. Like the Church and Wall Street. What has changed is that next time, they will be smarter not to be caught. They think we will still believe them.
There is no priest to go to confession to, to cleanse our souls. No, people are now able to make more money out of sin. Breaking the Ten commanments is what gives you the ratings. You are Fired is much sexier than you are Hired. Virtue after all is a little bit old fashioned.
Once the Catholic Archbishops used to thunder to us about what films we watched, and against nuclear war and injustice, and some like a young Archbishop Denis Hurley OMI in Durban went to jail in Apartheid South Africa for justice’s sake. This was way before Tutu. It did not matter he was white, and it did not matter that the church was as racist as the rulers. What was wrong was wrong and back in those days, people could see beyond their prejudices. They knew they had bias but things like truth and justice transcended race or party. That was what Jesus used to teach, before Billy Graham and Glenn Beck came along.
But Hurley’s Church has suddenly gone quiet. They need donors to keep them alive and so its best to shut up. And the abuse issue has made every priest preaching honesty a hypocrite. And then there is the Christian Right who are much stricter on family and sexual mores, and respect. But they too have sold out, thinking that power trumps truth. We can preach holy marriage and every marriage is sacred, even if the Commander in Chief has three of them. Adultery is wrong too unless you are the President at the Prayer breakfast. Evangelists now say the Gospel teaches- only tell the truth if you cannot find a better lie. The total sell out of the church, left and right, that used to defend truth and integrity signals that even God Inc. has gone over to the dark side. What is a believer to do?
I want to say forget about COVID 19 but that is outrageous. People are dying. But they are dying from a preceding virus, one that did not need a vaccine so much as it needed the truth. We are in the middle of a crisis so deep that vaccines are only a stop gap.
The next crisis- and it will come, believe me- will expose the same moral bankruptcy that we suffer now. If the American public in November vote to say that we no longer expect our leaders to be honest and tell us the truth, then I fear the Republic is doomed.
We will have undermined our foundations and what the founders were about. We will have lied to ourselves and we will have betrayed our own consciences, choosing short term expediency over the lessons of history. We will go on record as the generation that inherited so much and, like a spoilt child, spent our parents fortune with no idea of tomorrow. We did not die of COVID19 but of a far worse disease, moral cowardice.
That killed Germany in the 1930’s and Russia in the 1920s” . It killed Rome and Greece. it rent our nation in two in the civil war years. And all this has made us the Untouchables among nations, not the Indispensable. We desperately seek to motivate big pharma to create a vaccine that is profitable to them. Profit before People. We have forfeited our right to all that we were given.
We are Sell-Outs consorting with Cop-Outs to produce Bail-Outs for those who have Checked-Out. And the President says he is not responsible because he fits into every category. This is his Vietnam moment. I really want to serve, but dang, those bone spurs.
Watch how a nation destroys itself. First without even knowing it, and then as a cascade of catastrophes. Imagine if China invaded us now? Imagine if Cuba got their nuclear war heads back? Do you think we could survive? The enemy could take over FOX news and no one would know any difference. Maybe it already has. The anchor has Putin ears.
When our grandkids tell our history, they will say China took over the world not because of the virus they might have spread, but of the more virulent lies and corruption we spread. The USA filed for moral bankruptcy and there were no creditors even willing to bail us out. Not the Cruise lines, not the Airlines, not Saudi Oil Sheiks, not General Motors, not Toyota, not Ford, the corporates who feasted off our largesse. And not the UN, IMF, WHO, EU, or Canada, the old friends we treated like shit.
We had no one to blame but ourselves. And though this last statement might need some translation in the post truth era, I will assert it anyway, -Folks, that is the God-awful truth. Amen.