The Soul of America?
During the 2020 Presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to “restore the soul of America.” But as President, he signed a $1.9 trillion “Covid relief package”, where only 9% of the allocated money went to Covid relief, and is currently pushing a $2.25 trillion “Infrastructure bill” where only $650 billion goes to infrastructure. It is fair to ask, where is the remaining $3.329 trillion going from these packages? Not to feed the poor, or help the homeless, or fix our failing schools, or do anything that could help to restore the soul of the country. No. But, there is a line of billionaire donors who got Joe elected in front of the White House that need to get their cut first.
The level of corruption in our government is at an all-time high. They are not even trying to hide their corruption anymore. They are rubbing our noses in their corruption. Politicians go to Washington as middle-class citizens, and leave 20 years later as multi-millionaires, living in the top 1%. How does that happen? More importantly, how do we allow that to happen? Do all these politicians really know and understand how truly corrupt they are? Do they even care how much they continue to corrupt our system, and our great nation? Or have they been part of the system for so long that their corruption feels normal, common place to them, to us? Or is this simply one big elaborate game, and they have simply detached their corruption from its devastating effects because that’s the way the game is played?
Do our political leaders have enough self-awareness and introspection to ask themselves the question that Jesus posed, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul?” Do any of these people who we have “voted” into office, who appear to be solely interested with accumulating as much power as possible even have a soul anymore? Do any of them ever worry about or even consider their lost soul? Do they care? Maybe if they clung to their souls the way we cling to our bibles, our country would be in a much better place.
How many politicians stand up for principles anymore? Not virtue signaling to drum up votes, or riding the wave of a political movement masquerading as consciousness, but taking true stands on legitimate principles? Which politician is willing to sacrifice wealth and power, to save their soul, to save the soul of the country? Very few. Focus groups and political handlers very rarely arrive at that level of moral strength and character.
Do our political leaders ever step back and consider that at some point in the very near future they won’t be here anymore; they will be dust, and all that will be left of them, their legacy will be their character, their soul. The money, the wealth, the power that they sacrificed all for, that they exchanged their souls and the soul of our great nation for will all be gone; it will have all been meaningless, as it already is. And the only thing that will remain of them of any importance will be their character, their moral strength which will amount to a collective nothing.
Cutting back room deals with evil regimes, placating a billionaire donor class with taxpayer money, exploiting the suffering of others, and virtue signaling are not the makings of character. Aren’t they embarrassed? Do they have no shame? How can they look at themselves in the mirror? How can they so easily and so often lie to us and to themselves? Are they so blinded with ambition that their disfigured soul appears whole? Is that what politics does to a person? Is it only a rare few that makes it through that sausage grinder in Washington with their souls unscathed? It’s hard for me to look at most of our leaders in Washington. Their moral hypocrisy is too painful to take in. It is not merely that they are flawed, because everyone is flawed; it is that they are so flawed, yet act so morally superior; lecturing American citizens who give an honest day’s work in an honest profession about virtue and ethics while they are weaving webs of lies and deceit in the most corrupt profession in our country.
The restoration of the soul of America will not come from Washington, or even in our state houses. It will not be a top-down approach; the top is too irrevocably corrupt. It will come from where it always comes from, the bottom, the grass roots, the true heart and soul of our nation, in our kitchens and living rooms, in our neighborhoods and schools, in our families and communities. We must not allow the corrupt at the top to pit us against each other, do not be complicit in their divide and conquer scheme, do not allow their corruption to corrupt us and our souls, for we, the average everyday citizens are the very foundation of this country. We are what make this country work, and make it great. It is us, not them, not their politics, not their corruption. They are nothing without us, but without them dragging us down, we would truly soar.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.