Brown: The holidays, politics and hope for a change

What irony that the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ comes the month after we have governmental elections.

One instructs us to love our neighbor as we do ourselves, freeing ourselves by forgiving others’ trespasses. The other sucks the marrow from the bones of those wanting to be free.

One is the embodiment of setting people free. The other tightens the reins through rules and regulations, positioned as the sovereign administrator of our lives, exploiting the populous by yielding to those who earn their wealth from government decisions.

Unquestionably, the meting out of government corruption is a bipartisan affair. The presidential election had many Americans referring to the “lesser of two evils.” We witnessed our nation’s desperation for virtuous leadership this campaign year, admittedly through different colored party lenses.

The Democrats act as though living in a state of denial is their only option. On the other hand, the Republicans are at war with themselves.

It would be safe to conclude that the biggest obstacle for the upcoming Republican dominated Congress is the Republicans in Congress.

A Congress self-absorbed in their personal prosperity will never agree to the term limits that our citizens desire. Worse, the voters seem psychologically dependent upon re-electing the same people over and over again.

We live in an age where one in six Americans is said to be taking at least one psychiatric drug, usually an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. The pursuit of happiness has run off the tracks. We are said to be raising future generations with no work ethic and an astounding sense of entitlement.

It’s becoming almost impossible to have a formal discussion on a particular topic in the news media, a public meeting or legislative assembly where opposing arguments are appreciated. The rule of the day is to hurl labels like “Nazi” or “leftist” or “racist” or “[whatever] -phobic” as an admission of not being capable of supporting our positions.

The singular highlight from the last two terms of the presidency was the Affordable Care Act which required political bribery (think “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase”) and necessitated that the legislature pass the bill before the citizens would have any idea of what was in it.

We complain about Russian and Chinese hacking, but show little concern about our own government hacking its citizens without warrants.

Our national debt is in the $20 trillion range and worsening. While the economy bounces from one bubble to the next, our national leadership dismissively claims to have learned the lessons needed to prevent a reoccurrence.

State government is just as tainted as the federal level.

Most Americans are tiring of a political system that makes their well-being a much lower priority than enriching an elite upper-tier who know how to play the governmental game well.

There is no pride in being an “American” corporation when the products can be built cheaper in China or Mexico and the corporate tax rate is cheaper in other nations. Consequently, we have no way for those with high school diplomas or less to reach the middle class as the influx of illegal immigrants has caused wages in service jobs to remain depressed.

Government is birthing the dependent class, forfeiting opportunity for a monthly stipend.

Barely half of 30-year-olds in the U.S. earn more than their parents did when they were the same age.

Divisiveness is the still the most potent tool in the political arsenal. Fomenting racial strife is a guaranteed winner. Abolishing gender differences is the next battlefield in the war over values and beliefs.

Every political ploy needs foot soldiers and the best recruiting tool is co-oping those who have fallen into divisive factions. Their marching orders include protests, burning, shaming, ending free speech and threats of anarchy.

Many are searching for a way to turn government corruption around and create an environment that provides fair opportunity for all. But government can only be altered through the might and foresight of its citizens.

A change of focus is required, aimed at respecting your fellow human beings and caring for their welfare.

We are called to be free, but if you use your freedoms for self-indulgence and not the betterment of our nation, you end up with the disarray we have today. We need leaders who serve one another humbly in love on behalf of their constituents. It is especially important at Christmas to remember that Jesus Christ said the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Here’s hoping for the change in us necessary to create a change in our government.

Steve Brown, Commissioner
Fayette County Board of Commissioners
Peachtree City, Ga.