Today is Election Day. I know I don’t need to go on about how important it is and what a privilege it is, and how many have given their lives so that we can exercise our right to vote and live in freedom . . . oops, I guess I just did.
Seriously, I believe today will be historic not simply because of the skin color or gender of the ones elected, but because our country is shifting. It’s been shifting for some time now but this election will no doubt speed up the process significantly. It is most noticeable in the attitude of the general populace: “I’d be a fool to do for myself what I can get someone else to do for me.” At face value this attitude seems reasonable - surely it’s a good thing to delegate effort. That way you are freed up to work on something else, thereby multiplying your productivity. But there’s a subtlety to this that is insidious and, I believe dangerous.
Over the past few decades we have gradually assigned more and more personal responsibility to others. This is is evident in two ways: 1) feeling like we have a right to the privileges of others and, 2) feeling like we are victimized if we don’t get what we think we have coming. What concerns me with regard to this election is this reassignment of responsibility is being aimed at the government. After today I believe we will see this self-serving attitude spread and amplify exponentially.
We’ve come a long way from JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”