The Six Inches In Front of Your Face

Ever since the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, I’ve been deeply demoralized — feeling like something fundamental just changed in our nation and our culture. The relationship between citizen and state has been redefined, and more strong legal bricks have been laid in the abortion edifice. For conservatives there is no silver lining to this decision, none. State power has been increased, our nation takes another step towards bankruptcy, and now a previously unpopular law has gotten the Supreme Court seal of approval — a seal that still matters to those who don’t follow politics or the court closely.

But I was wrong to feel so demoralized, wrong to place so much weight on a court decision. Our lives and destinies are not shaped by justices of the Supreme Court. Indeed, they are often trailing-edge indicators of millions of choices and tectonic cultural shifts that occurred before and during their time on the bench. I was reminded of this by, of all things, an Al Pacino YouTube — the greatest fictional motivational speech of all time:

Please click and watch it. What an astonishing and powerful portrait of our priorities and powerlessness. We fight and claw and scratch for inches — not feet, not miles (no matter how important we deem ourselves). And it’s in those inches and in that fight that we define our character. [Read more…]