In the 1990s, it became popular to acknowledge that the outcome of presidential elections would be decided primarily by the state of the economy with the statement, “It’s the economy, stupid.” This tradition has filtered down to a more local level as seen in the 8/19/2012 Sunday edition of the Hamilton (OH) JournalNews. The Ohio Senate race, between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and his Republican challenger Josh Mandel, was headlined “In Senate race, it’s still the economy.” While the writer may have been correct in the general assessment of voter concern, attempts to fix the economy both statewide and nationally will ultimately fail unless we cure philosophical illnesses first.
Our national deterioration has been accelerating since the 1960s when the major problems of race relations and the handling of Viet Nam were also symptoms of far greater foundational cracks in our values. After we put band-aids on those issues, we found ourselves facing energy shortages, financial panics and international crises which mutated like viruses every few years. Treating only the symptoms is as futile as patching holes in a dam of fundamentally faulty construction.
So, what are some of the root causes of our need for ongoing crisis management? Sifting through the fog of confusion, we find increasing disregard for:
- the dignity of human life at all stages
- the sanctity of marriage and the indispensable family unit
- the inalienable right to freedom of religion
Ignoring these timeless principles always produces self-serving decisions which harm the present and endanger our future.
In the JournalNews article, one citizen was quoted, “The economy is extremely important because everything flows out of that.” I propose that our values are most important, because the economy and everything else flows from them.
When we lose sight of right and wrong, no amount of government can save us.