My Appeal to Morality

Are we a moral people? What does morality even mean anymore? This is something that has been on my mind for the past few days. At our core, do we still strive to do what is right?

What is right?

This whole political climate we find ourselves in has caused many good people to forget morality, to forget what doing the right thing means... all in a bid to stay partisan. Is that how low we’ve fallen as a society? Do we not care about our own morals? Do we still have morals? Does our community have morals? Our politics?

Let me subtract out the political aspect of all of this, I think that’s where the problem starts.

This isn’t a political issue; I’m not going after some politician or expressing a political viewpoint. As a human being on the planet earth, what the heck are we doing? Why is it so difficult to stand up for what is right? In America no less. Our history is filled with people standing up for what is right, almost always in the face of harsh opposition.

Many of us thought… I had thought… that we had reached a point in our society where the collective whole wants to do the right thing. Why does it seem like we are moving away from that? What is to be gained, from turning our back on human decency and forgetting the past 100 years of history? What is gained from ignoring what is right... even if we don’t like it? Who do we think we are? Who do I think I am?

I want to be a good person. I want to do the right thing. I want to stand up for those who are disadvantaged, for those who are struggling to survive. I want to live in a society that values my life, just as much as the life of the person walking by me in the street. And just as much as the person who disagrees fundamentally with me on how we should tackle the largest issues of our day.

That is after all, what makes America great, isn’t it? Debating the issues of the day, discussing alternative solutions to solve the problems we face. Not ignoring them, not empowering injustice or hate. But facing the problems in our society with different solutions and debating until we’re blue in the face on why our particular solution is better, why our approach is the best one. And then taking a vote on it, and implementing the best solution to the problem.

But we aren’t doing that! We aren’t talking about the issues, we aren’t discussing how to solve the moral problems in our society, or in our culture. We are lying to ourselves and to others, convinced that acknowledging a problem will somehow destroy us. That it will wipe us off the face of the planet and leave a molten trail in our wake.

We aren’t discussing the problems, we are repeating the narratives we have been convinced of, narratives that if we were to examine, may lead us to call into question our own belief in them. Narratives that we are somehow convinced we must accept because of our party affiliation, church affiliation or socioeconomic standing in life.

But that’s the trick isn’t it? Repeat the narrative, don’t think it through, don’t use your brain. Don’t listen to your conscience. Because if you do that, then you may question. And if you question… well, then you’re not really American are you? You’re not really a democrat, or not really a republican. Not really a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim, or an Atheist. You’re not really a US citizen if you have views that don’t align with the message, right?

What are we afraid of?

We are the people.

We are democracy.

We are America.

And we have problems as a society when we forget that.

We are the change we want to see. Those aren’t just pretty words. They are a call to action.