Let me begin with a couple of apologies. First of all I apologize, again, for not keeping up with this blog during a week of vacation. (Half-hearted apology) Second, I apologize to all my dear American friends for the upcoming rant. (Sincere and heart-felt apology)
The continuing saga of debt ceilings, threats of financial melt-downs, down-grades of credit ratings and market plummets is not the kind of news you want to follow in these waning summer weeks. Please, can`t we just chill in the sun with a refreshing drink in hand just like the beer ads? You know the ones – beach chair, white sand, blue skies, calming surf, not a worry in the world…
Ah, but reality kicks you in the butt even on holidays. The reality is that what happens to our big brother to the south affects us all in Canada. Yes, we can gloat over our triple A credit rating. Yes, our economy is surviving better than most. But when the USA sneezes, we Canucks get a cold. And this latest financial mess is a mega, germ-filled, mucous drenched hork heard around the world.
Standard and Poors cited the lack of political collaboration and effectiveness as a major reason for the loss of confidence in the American economy. The finger was clearly pointed at the politicians and government. Instead of some humble soul-searching, the guilty parties raised the volume on their self-righteous rhetoric. Both claimed the fault lay in the other court. Both claimed they were right all along. It was almost comical – if it wasn`t so sad to watch. Even President Obama, who I admire, looked foolish declaring that America will always be a Triple A country, regardless of credit ratings. U-S-A…U-S-A…U-S-A!
My previous post discussed the existing disconnect between right-wing, Christian politicians who adamantly fight social programs and tax increases for the rich. Gospel values call us to share with those who need. Gospel values also call us to humility, and humility is nowhere to be found among the present roster of politicians. A childish ego denies any wrong-doing, or quickly points the finger of blame to the other kids in the sand-box. A mature woman or man humbly acknowledges their deficiencies, and acknowledges when errors are made. Humility is the wisdom that leads one to serious and painful soul-searching. Humility acknowledges when we have screwed up, and seeks ways to make restitution. And restitution often requires a major mind-change. It admits that our way failed us. We need to look at other options.