We are in the heat of Election Season here in the United States, and there are many opinions floating around out there in cyberspace. One of the better comments that I have seen regarding social issues comes via Facebook from Professor Robert George of Princeton. I’ll post it here for the benefit of those who have logged off for the Year of Faith like Mary Alice.
“MoveOn is the face of contemporary liberalism. Liberalism used to pride itself on standing up for the little guy, defending the weak and vulnerable, reminding us (in the civil rights struggle, for example) of our common humanity. That was the liberalism of people like Hubert H. Humphrey, George Meany, Robert P. Casey. For all intents and purposes, it no longer exists. Look at how liberalism has been transformed in the wake of Me-generation expressive individualism: MoveOn trots out the Hollywood elite to proclaim—what? The centrality and non-negotiability of the “right” to kill a child in the womb. The “beautiful people” say you should vote for Barack Obama—why? Because he will protect that lethal right. What about the humanity of the child? Silence. What about our obligations to the weak and vulnerable? They evidently evaporate when sacred lifestyle preferences are at stake. For those of us who remember what liberalism once was, and what great liberals like Humphrey and Casey stood for, it is all very sad.” -Professor Robert George, quoted on 10/21/12 (emphasis added)
You can see the video advertisement (which, it is worth noting, is sponsored by MoveOn.org) that Professor George is responding to here. Although the advertisement itself was political and snarky, I was mostly struck by the social commentary and by the poignancy with which George addressed the mentality of the “Me-generation.” When I think about our country’s future, one of the things that troubles me the most is this mentality, and the fact that people with this mentality are going to be increasingly making decisions that will impact the future of our families. I am concerned when I think about how influenced our citizens seem to be by people like the three actresses in this commercial, who have no credentials other than fame to recommend their opinions to us. Some of their statements are ridiculous (invasive ultrasounds – really?!), but will people take them at face value? I hope that our younger generations can still think critically enough themselves to sort out truth from falsehood, but have we given them the tools that they need to do so?
Self-absorbed individualism, and an inability to think beyond the here-and-now, are not going to get us anywhere. Whining about the tough consequences of our bad choices isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to work hard to continue changing hearts and minds so that our young people, the “Me-generation” and their children, will freely choose to make responsible, forward-thinking decisions. I believe that we can get there, but that it will be a battle on many fronts.
Holy Mary, Mother of Our Lord, pray for us! All you holy men and women, pray for us!