Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Times That Try

By Dan Hagen
Americans believe that their problems are caused by other people's sexual orientation and the teaching of scientific fact in classrooms. They pay serious attention when talk-radio hosts propose that everybody in schools be armed with guns, and when televangelists inform them that mental illness and hurricanes are caused by "the Devil."

As parents and grandparents, they undoubtedly see many things when they look at their small children. What the people they vote for see are troops to occupy and subjugate other nations.

They work in low-wage, dead-end jobs in a country that no longer manufactures anything except fraudulent financial instruments and debt. They buy their hope for the future in the form of lottery tickets at the local convenience store. That store’s counter displays cans with kids' pictures on them, along with messages begging for change to defer the medical expenses of families who have been bankrupted by their child’s disease. Those cans are the product of what Americans like to call "the greatest health care system in the world."

Some of us have been interested in pointing out the lights of the engine that is bearing down upon Americans for the last decade, but the bulk of the citizenry would rather just watch "American Idol." So Americans idle.

These are, in fact, the times that try men's souls. American souls have been tried, sentenced and convicted. But few know it yet, because it hasn’t been reported on Fox News.

And like all great truths, it's never going to be.
The painting "The Persistence of Memory" is by Salvador Dali.

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