I've known a few alcoholics over the course of my life, and several told me they were saved from destruction by Alcoholics Anonymous.
I'm not an alcoholic, but I admit that I became addicted to politics during the recent presidential campaign. I watched television news obsessively, and I worried about our country's future no matter who won the presidential election. My friends are divided politically, but almost everyone I know has been distressed by recent political events. I found we couldn't talk to each other about our concerns for fear of losing a friendship.
And then on Wednesday morning--the day after the election, I realized that I don't care who gets sworn into the office of the presidency in January. I don't care who is appointed to cabinet positions, and I don't care who controls Congress.
Like a recovering alcoholic, I realized that I was powerless over the national political scene and that America--like the life of an alcoholic--has become unmanageable. Like a recovering alcoholic, I came to believe that only a Power greater than the American people can restore us to sanity.
As an elderly white guy who lives in Louisiana, I now realize that our national politicians don't give a damn about the people who live in Flyover Country.
They don't give a damn about the jobs that have been lost in the Midwest--the jobs that went to China.
They don't give a damn about the opioid epidemic that has swept through rural America.
They don't give a damn about the strip mining destroying the heartland or the wind turbines that have turned the high plains into a vast junkyard.
They don't give a damn about the spike in mortality rates among working-class Americans--rates fueled by drug overdoses and suicide.
They don't give a damn about the fact that American universities have become criminal rackets run by academic gangsters.
They don't give a damn about a global economy that is destroying the American middle class.
And you know what? I don't give a damn about the global elites who have turned our country into a moral cesspool.
So--I'm not going to read the friggin' New York Times, the friggin' New Yorker, or the friggin' Washington Post. I'm not going to watch the friggin' cable news shows or the friggin' Hollywood movies. I'm not going to read the friggin' op-ed essays in my local newspaper.
Instead, I'm going to cultivate a garden, learn to hunt deer, and watch international movies on Amazon and Netflix like Far From Men, The Load, and Black '47. I'm going to root for the New Orleans Saints and read the sports page. I'm going to try to be a better husband, brother, and grandfather. I'm going to learn to smoke a better brisket.
And I will continue trying to ease the burden of our nation's 45 million student-loan debtors, which is the only professional interest I still care about.
And I will continue to pray for the canonization of Dorothy Day, the greatest American Catholic of the twentieth century. If we all aspired to live like Dorothy, our nation would be healed. I urge you to read her book, Loaves, and Fishes, and you will see that I am right.
I have been on this new path for only about ten days, and so far, it feels pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.
|Servant of God Dorothy Day|