Five hundred years ago a young priest named Martin Luther nailed to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral a list of 95 debate points for anyone who wished to challenge him. Some of them were, in themselves, challenges to the prevailing practices and theology of the Catholic Church of the time.
His immediate intent was to spark discussion of what it means to be a follower of Christ and receive his blessing. The result was the publication of these points around Europe and revolution in views about the divine, the individual, and the practices and structures which link them. The world has not been the same since.
Freedom. It’s the basis of not just our system, but the values that the system was created to protect. Americans value their freedom above everything else.
But do we really have what it takes to be truly a free people today?
This repeat from nine years ago seems dated in a very funny way. Could we have seen any of this coming? Well, so much for the American Empire – died with more of a wimper than a bang.
It’s become popular in the politics of many nations to re-think free trade and globalism. Many people believe that something has gone terribly wrong and, for many reasons, politicians typically point to foreigners or a faceless “global order” as the problem.
This belief is not limited to the US by any means. It ranges from a sense of discomfort to a belief in “fair trade, not free trade” to outright sneering at “globalists”. Is there something wrong in the global order?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is incredibly long and, interestingly enough, green on the back.
My fellow Americans, our nation is failing.
It’s not failing because our government is failing. That is, by itself, merely a symptom in a nation where it truly is a reflection of its people. The politics which guide our dialogue and create the government are also little more than a symptom of the disease in much the same manner. To be truly free, much is demanded of a people, any people, and we are not meeting that challenge in any useful way.
We are failing as a people. We are failing as a society. We are simply failing.