Late yesterday afternoon, my wife Karen met me at the motorcycle shop. It was time for the 12,000 mile service on my Triumph Tiger and I needed a ride home. This gave me an opportunity to listen briefly to Mark Levin. The talk radio experience is rare for most of us who ride on only two wheels, so I was interested in hearing what Mark had to say.
He was on a serious rant regarding Obama’s budget, citing several obvious facts. Without going into the details, the basic message was this:. Our government is dysfunctional when we allow one man to mortgage future generations with so much debt that our children and our children’s children will be not much more than indentured servants under this new federally subsidized world order. He talked about Obama squandering inconceivable amounts of money that have yet to be earned by Americans who have yet to be born. To say that the message was depressing is an understatement. And to be frank, the message also appeared to be futile. The situation seemed profound, all-encompassing and permanent, with little hope for any meaningful resolution.
Mark’s message also got me thinking about how some family and social relationships have been damaged in the last two years as a result of this man in the White House. That might sound a little dramatic, but in truth, dividing lines have been drawn in the sand regarding the direction and culture of our country.
On one side, we have family and friends who appear to have no problem with the unfolding progressive political power grab. I can’t begin to explain why. It’s as if any change is good change, regardless of consequence. This also implies a belief that the future will simply take care of itself, regardless of the forces currently trying to turn this country upside down. Specific concerns expressed by conservatives, including the loss of personal freedoms and the unsustainable federal budget, are only challenged at times with a shrug. Sometimes that shrug is followed with an oversimplified liberal explanation that things would have been worse if Obama had not commandeered the federal government during its first three months of office and spent us into oblivion.
Then there are those we know who stand on the other side of the line in the sand. They prefer to pay attention to White House actions and agendas instead of emotionally relying upon Obama’s self-serving speeches. They understand the math behind our current debt load and can predict the pending financial crisis that will be upon us just as Obama leaves office. They believe in personal freedom and responsibility, refusing to endorse a tax code that allows almost half of the people in this country to shoulder the entire federal income tax burden while the other half reaps the benefits. They believe federal law should be applied equally to all citizens instead of selectively by executive fiat.
Indeed, those lines in the sand run rather deep. As a result, many of us have been forced to reevaluate our social relationships. Fortunately, we’ve made new friends in the process who stand with us on our side of the line. Unfortunately, there are others who have been close to us in the past and are now starting to fade into the shadows. And life moves on… with the exception of our family. Families simply don’t fade away. Yet the lines in the sand still divide us.
But perhaps those divisions aren’t quite so permanent. Let me explain.
Many of you know that I have created 50 or 60 video projects over the years for the local middle school and high school music programs. These videos typically use background music in order to set the mood, but it was disheartening to learn that some of the audio was removed a couple of years ago as a result of a revenue dispute between YouTube and Warner Music Group. So it was surprising this morning to receive an e-mail from YouTube suggesting that one of my videos may be using music under copyright. This seemed rather odd, because that music was stripped from the video over 18 months ago, yet the e-mail implied that the audio was intact. A quick check on my YouTube channel confirmed that the music had indeed been restored. Another quick check of Google showed that the dispute between YouTube and WMG was resolved at the end of last year. Why? Probably because the majority of WMG customers expressed their outrage by closing their wallets. What appeared to be a rather permanent situation 18 months ago now seems to be resolved as a result of free-market forces. The music has been restored.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking to believe that this country could also be restored in the same fashion. Is it really possible to beat back the current progressive power grab and fiscal nightmare experienced under Obama’s watch during the last two years? Can enough productive citizens in this country stand up for American interests and correct the legacy we leave future generations? And is it foolish to think that some of the damaged relationships between family and friends can be healed in the process? Perhaps not.
Perhaps the real foolishness is looking to the federal government for happiness and prosperity. Because at the end of the day, our allegiance and focus should not be limited to one man occupying the White House. Our allegiance and focus should be on our own social, spiritual and family structures. Those same structures designed to provide waves of support and happiness that we all desire in our lives. And eons of history have demonstrated that the waves washing ashore erase any and all lines in the sand. So perhaps there is hope.
By the way, here is one of my videos. It seems appropriate that the song restored by You Tube is the 1971 hit by Tommy James and The Shondells entitled “Draggin’ the Line.