Cover Your Ears, Thomas Jefferson...

After more than 200 years of constitutional democracy, it may be time to try something completely different. I mention this only because recent events indicate that Congress, and the easily distracted people it represents, can't get anything done.

And what better place than in this, our November election issue (as opposed to our September-October "Shopping for School" issue or the upcoming December "Shopping for Jesus" issue). In a couple weeks, Americans will gather at the polls and once again prove ourselves unworthy of the wisdom of our founders, who specifically put the words "try not to be stupid" in our Constitution.

In fairness, kudos to the Obama administration for passing health care and financial reform. But frankly the complexity of each reminds me of my dad trying to teach golf to his adolescent son: "Keep your head down, shoulders back, knees slightly bent, and your right wrist straight. Okay, now swing. Why did you miss the ball, son?" My dad meant well, as did the Obama administration, but I was left with the same feeling afterward: Namely, I wonder if that cute girl in the foursome ahead of us is going to be at the pool later.

See, it's that kind of distractibility that makes Americans virtually ungovernable. We scream for a better country, but then we see a butterfly, reach for it, and as the saying goes, on the other side of the world an angel gets her wings, or something. (I was always a little unclear on the science of the Butterfly Effect.)

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Sojourners Magazine November 2010
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