Monday, May 30, 2011
Readers, I'm really struggling today to find the right words and sentiments to express the inconceivable debt we owe to our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day (and all other days). It took me a while to put my finger on what was making it so difficult... and then I knew what was blocking me up.
I look at these graves, I think of the loss of countless lives, and I think of the immeasurable sacrifice made by these men and women in hopes of creating and sustaining a great nation. I think of the need for every American to work to honor that sacrifice, and to try be worthy of the fallen's great gift to the living.
And then I think of "politics as usual."
Smug, dishonest, divisive, and deceitful. Politicians who say "no budget is needed" while enjoying taxpayer funded jets, expense accounts, and gold-plated pensions. Political ads showing old people being thrown off a cliff, to scare voters into supporting unsustainable debt. Politicians who lie as easily as they breathe, and who try to turn American against American by sowing the seeds of class envy, racial division, sexual antagonism, and religious hatred.
This is not what our best and bravest died for. And "politics as usual" shouldn't be accepted as a shrug-it-off cliché...it should be treated as what it is: an unspeakable and unacceptable obscenity.
Although there's seemingly no end to the millions, billions, and trillions being wasted in Washington DC, I'd like to suggest one new expenditure: a fleet of busses which would carry every politician in Washington, up to and including the president, to Arlington Cemetery each morning for five minutes of silence.
Five minutes for them to reflect on courage, honor, and selflessness. And especially how to make their words and deeds honor our dead instead of staining their memories.