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Has America Lost Its Way, Or Its Soul?

It’s obvious that there are some deep political divides between the left and right in this country. There have always been ideological canyons separating people in America, going all the way back to our founding fathers. But, one unifying thread weaving through our chaotic and sometimes violent history, that to my knowledge had never been broken–not even during the Civil War when brother fought brother on the battlefields–was our shared respect for life and ability to show compassion towards one another during times of need.

However, it seems that thread may be broken now.

I watched and listened in shocked horror last week as the audience applauded the statement that Governor Perry had presided over 234 executions during the Republican presidential debate.

It isn’t about people being for or against the death penalty. In fact, I support it being used in cases where all possible doubts have been removed, and even believe its use should be expanded to include many sexual offenders given my belief (based on statistics of repeat offenders) that there is no chance for rehabilitation for some minds.

But, when did we lose our compassion and empathy? When did death, even the death of a criminal, stop being a tragic and sad waste for some of us?

I’ve always been able to respect political and ideological differences, but to see proof that what many around the world believe–that Americans are heartless and blood-thirsty–brought my outlook for this nation’s future down to a new low.

Yet, I believe the audience at this week’s debate was sadly able to trump the earlier cheers for death, when shouts of “Yeah, Yeah, Society should just let him die” nearly became an audience chant after moderator Wolf Blitzer asked “who pays?” if a man who doesn’t have insurance (perhaps because he lost his job?) suddenly becomes gravely ill.

Really? We not only cheer for death but we also have zero compassion for our neighbors who may have fallen on hard times, possibly through no fault of their own? That’s the society we’ve become in America?

Suddenly, the party that spoke for years about creating a ‘culture of life’ in this country, has become the culture of death and misery? A party that celebrates–with cheers and applause–killing and suffering?

It makes me feel a lot of things, sad mostly, but it also makes me wonder what happened to the religious right? Where’s the Christian majority? Because there is absolutely nothing Christ-like in applauding pain and death visited upon one another.

Administrator.thumbnail Has America Lost Its Way, Or Its Soul?


A conservative liberal with a perspicuous perspective on American politics.

Scott's writings have been published on dozens of news and opinion outlets both online and off.

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