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Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.
– The Wall by Pink Floyd
Welcome to America in 2006. We live in a country that has created a truly magnificent economic machine. Through trial and error, inspired thinking and the courage to cut taxes, the American economy produces a cornucopia of opportunities, careers and jobs that suits virtually everyone’s talents and desires.
One of America’s great careers can be found in our all volunteer army – the mightiest, most honorable and effective fighting force the world has ever known. Like our economy, it is capable of achieving literally anything it commits to.
And our faith. Our country was founded upon the principle that human rights are derived from God. Most of us still believe that to be true. Recent polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 96 percent of the public say they believe in God or some form of Supreme Being.
One of the most difficult issues we face as a nation is the fact we cannot accommodate the number of people from every corner of the world who long to live here.
We are living the original American Dream.
And, as has become the case, Americans are being challenged by our embarrassment of riches. It is the day before the 2006 mid-term elections and, quite unfortunately, it appears a healthy percentage of the world’s healthiest, longest living people have become comfortably numb. Finding outrage today is on par with finding conservative objectivity at The New York Times.
What just a few years ago would have shocked the body politic passes now evokes an expressionless, “So what?”
I wrote in this column last week about the Democrats’ likely nominee for president of the United States in 2008, Hillary Clinton. Sen. Clinton had just proudly announced to a gathering of New York’s most prominent gay leaders she will not be defending the institution of marriage any longer. Marriage, as being defined between a man and a woman, ceased to mattered to her. Her signing on to this unpopular, untested and unwise social experiment barely raised a murmur. No outrage, no obits written or eulogies delivered on Hillary’s once promising life in politics.
This past week, after yet another tidal wave of positive economic news further validating our hard-charging economy was released, Nancy Pelosi (pronounced “Pe-lousy”) claimed the president, the overseer of this economic juggernaut, had ”the worst jobs record since the Great Depression,” in spite of the news the Oct. jobless rate fell to 4.4 percent. After not hearing any side-splitting laughter from those assembled, Pelosi continued: “While we are glad there is some good news for the American people, this jobs report does not fundamentally change the fact that President Bush’s handling of the economy is not good for America’s middle-income families.”
This country is not immersed in a second “Great Depression.” We are immersed in a cultural numbness that has made the plainly ludicrous the new normal.
Democrats in the United States Senate have, without fear of voter reprisal, compared members of our military to Nazis, Pol Pot, Soviet labor camps, terrorists, and Saddam Hussein. The Democrats’ most recent nominee for commander in chief jokes about our troops being loser/washouts several notches below the Bill Murray-led ne’er do wells in the movie, ”Stripes.”
Last time I checked this country was at war. Please explain how it is possible this anti-American version of the Democrat Party is dangerously close to taking over the Senate? This group argues that patriots undermine the country and its commander in chief during a time of war.
When did we become so cool, so de-sensitized, so comfortably numb, that what once shocked us now can pass without comment or consequence?
In the year 2006, Americans have never had more to be thankful for, more to be prideful of, more to fight for, more reason to vote against those who threaten our way of life, and more to hold dear. Yet we have braced ourselves for depressed voter turnout.
At a time of great national accomplishment, we behave more like retirees than inspired young bucks eager to, as JFK urged, to “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Those words, before we became comfortably numb, were rousing, goose-bump producing, chest-thumping, American ideals.
Abnormal has become the new normal. Why?