"Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will." - Doreen Valiente
It seems to me, from my 30+ years of observation, that despite the Christian majority our general populace has been acting under a bastardized version of the Wiccan Rede above, at least when it comes to politics and government. What you have demonstrated to me, my dear America, is:
"And it not harm me, dear politician, do what ye will."
In my view, as a people we have failed each other. Life might not have been great, but it has been tolerable. The tolerability has allowed us to grow lax in our responsibility to ourselves, our nation, our children, and our future. We have not been vigilant in regard to the actions of those who serve as our voice in government.
We have placed our trust in those capable of appealing to the most people with their speeches (and more often) their ability to portray their opponents as the greater evil. Worse yet, after having done so we have paid little to no attention to how well they do their jobs - at least until their opponent in the next election buys television ads touting their failings in order to win our next votes.
I am not unsympathetic to our plight. We have pressing concerns that demand our attention. If we have a job, we must concern ourselves with keeping it. We have bills to pay and things to buy. There are mouths to feed, after all, and as our capitalist system rarely creates an environment in which we are free to pursue our hearts desires, we must find means to cope with that lack of fulfillment. Here we are now, entertain us. Distract us from the dreams we left on the side to put a roof over our head and fill our bellies. Elections are few and far between, almost like holidays - save we don't have to find the money to buy little Timmy an Xbox for election day.
Now though, we find ourselves victims of our own apathy. Enraged, we take to the streets screaming at the corporations and the politicians we have allowed them to buy. "How dare you!," we cry. Our trust has been betrayed.
America, I may stand alone in doing so - but I say: "How dare we?"
How dare we know the names of college football quarterbacks and not know the names of the people making the laws? How dare we waste a solitary thought on Jennifer Aniston's relationship status while our countrymen are losing their homes? Why is our money still in banks that chose to risk it all, particularly after the risk became not a gamble but a loss?
I am no less guilty than the rest of you, America. Now though, now that things have gotten bad enough that we are willing to stand for what we believe in - we owe it to ourselves, each other, our children and our future to keep standing. Stand taller, tolerate less - find it within ourselves to take responsibility for our apathy and failure, and find the strength within ourselves to carry the burden of that responsibility into the future.