Moral Compass:
It would appear that through a combination of bad choices and bad faith America is losing her stature as a world leader.  There are those who yearn for our return.  (ECONOMIST extra issue John Micklethwait The World in 2014 Your Chance Mr. Obama page 19)

We aren’t all bad.  It seems now quite plausible that Iran will finally be cajoled into presenting enough evidence to the rest of the world that they are not making a nuclear bomb that they will be believed.  And this hope is the result of years of effort on the part of Mr. Obama.  Even if it fails and results in disgrace I shall not blame him; it is a noble dream.

On the other hand, look at some of the bad things.

  1. After the World Trace Center atrocity we passed the Patriot Act.  It appeared so quickly after the event that some say it was written in anticipation.  It was thousands of pages long and passed far too quickly for anybody to have read it carefully.  When the Japanese struck Pearly Harbor the constitution was abrogated at least to the degree that ethnic Japanese were put in concentration camps by the federal government, but it just about stops there.  The rest of us were still free.   From what I have learned the Patriot act permits a person to be detained, tortured or killed without due process of law; it is only necessary to breathe the word, “Terrorist.” 
  2. The act was passed under Mr. Bush but Mr. Obama has made no effort to have it repealed.  It is the law of the land notwithstanding the fact that it is utterly unconstitutional.
  3. The killing Osama bin Laden smells to me like a lynching.  There was a mass lynching near where I grew up that occurred maybe twenty or thirty years before.  I had friends who were traumatized by the event even though they had no direct connection.  The very fact that something so terrible had happened so recently and so close troubled them deeply.  If it seems the least bit like a lynching then my hackles rise. 
  4. The way the body was disposed of seems to me to be the desecration of a corpse.  That’s a war crime.
  5. We were thrust into a war in Iraq on the bases of false assertions.  The horror of that has never ended for those living there.
  6. We blundered into Libya, caused the government to fail, the dictator to be slaughtered by a mob and our own ambassador to be tortured, abused and killed.  Just what our motivation was is unclear but probably had something to do with the idea that the Arab Spring meant all our Christmas wishes were going to come true so to more chaos we encouraged the better.
  7. Ditto the rest of the Arab Spring.
  8. We have been spying on our best allies.
  9. We have been spying on our own citizens. 
  10. We drew a “red line” with regard to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then when we said they had been used by the government (which would have bound us to react, true or not) we faltered.  It was up to Russia, for the sake of pity, to save our bacon.
  11. We were handed a “reform” of our medical insurance industry based in part on the well publicized promise that anybody who had insurance already could keep it.  That promise has now been broken. 


So far it is a lot like business as usual.  I don’t trust governments anyway.  But the clincher for me is this: Even after the promise was broken about half of Americans think Mr. Obama is trustworthy.  There is no consensus that the government needs to be called to account.  The people just don’t care.

It’s not just bad government.  It’s the laxity of the principles of the people.  For all I know we have a better government than we deserve. 

We’ve lost our moral compass.

Nobody needs a world leader that is morally useless.  So I think just maybe it would be well if we did cease to try to run everybody else.  Let the monster sleep and husband her strength.  History isn’t over.  Another issue will arise that will call upon America.  We’ll be rich enough to deal with it for decades to come.  If we can stop doing bad things long enough we may even come out on the side of good. 

There have been 63 visitors over the past month.

Home page