Spiritual Bankruptcy: When Nothing Is Immutable

Jim Blasingame

As you know, for the past 20 years, we’ve polled you – our online audience – about current events that impact your lives and businesses. This past week we asked you to weigh in on “the state of America.” As always, the poll and results are below. My take on what you tell us every week is usually farther down this publication, but I feel so strongly about this topic that I wanted to move my thoughts up the page. Buckle up.

We should pay attention to the fact that only 3% of our respondents didn’t see any concerning issues in America today. Move along – nothing to see here. On the other end of the issue, 44% think America is already fighting WWIII, inside our borders. Meanwhile, the rest – over half – acknowledge something is off-kilter in America, from unsettling to unprecedented.

The life of my generation has spanned gut-check, perilous moments in America: from multiple wars to a president being assassinated and one resigning; from multiple periods of social and racial upheaval to the terrorist attacks of 9-11; from the 2008 financial crisis to the recent global pandemic. My assessment is that, right now, America, as benevolent as it is imperfect, is in greater existential peril than at any time since the Civil War. In some ways, in our history.

Prejudices and political differences are as old as humanity. But even when Neanderthals didn’t abide Alsatians and neither of them liked Homo Sapiens; when Americans killed each other during the Civil War; when for centuries Sunni and Shia kill each other over Islamic nuances; at least all of them shared certain immutable truths. Like how to define a woman.

When a grown, genetic male is allowed to compete against females in their sport, and then is defended for insinuating his naked self into the private quarters of those women; when a half-century of defining and refining Title IX to establish and ensure equal athletic opportunity for women to compete against those who share a chromosomal makeup; when the once-noble feminist movement can’t find its voice to denounce behavior based on vague claims that are diluting if not reversing a century of equity progress for women; that reality is beyond mere political or philosophical disagreement. That’s humans denying and defying natural law, and accelerating our journey toward a self-imposed apocalypse.

When all sides of the American political debate can’t share the immutable truth that a strong and influential America – warts and all – is the last bulwark against a despotic force bent on world domination, like China’s CCP, then the result is what we seem to have now: World War III – including multiple variations of invasions in our homeland – that America and the world may well lose without a military shot being fired by the enemy.

In a society that has any hope for the future, debate, and compromise must be the coins of the realm. But when even the most vociferous debaters can’t agree on an absolute, an immutable, an Ark of the Covenant that cannot be touched without killing all of us, well, that puts us beyond ideological bankruptcy. It’s spiritual bankruptcy. And a point on the Rubicon beyond which we may not return.

And that appears to be the thinking of 78% of the Americans we polled this week. 

Jim Blasingame is the author of The 3rd Ingredient, the Journey of Analog Ethics into the World of Digital Fear and Greed.

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