This week I had the privilege of finally catching up on Season 3 of the cable drama “Damages”, starring Glen Close. This is not a review. I highly recommend this dark legal thriller and now Season 1 is available on Netflix. You won’t be disappointed. However, as I said previously this is not a review. I only mention the show because season 3 was all about greed and money. The basic plot revolves around a high-society family torn apart by their Bernie Madoff-like patriarch as he is charged with running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler and I’ll go no further than to tell you that the main character in this season is money.
Many people in this country believe that the Bible says “Money is the root of all evil”. I generally find that most of those people also believe the Bible tells us Jesus was a socialist and men are supposed to control their wives. Of course, the Bible says none of those things, and with regard to money it tells us in 1Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” That is a very tiny but significant distinction. Money in and of itself is not evil. We use it for many good things – to feed people, enjoy vacations, heal people, etc. But when we start to love money above all else it takes on a life of its own. It becomes like an addiction, and before long the money addict is no better than a crack addict – they will literally do anything to anyone to get that next fix and make sure their supply is safe. The family on “Damages” fell in love with their money; every conversation and interaction was about money. Their obsession with money and the consequences of that obsession got me thinking about that oft misquoted verse. The Bible’s warning about the love of money is not just another “God rule”, but quite practicle. Loving money makes human beings do awful things, and forget about life’s value…ironically.
Our entire political system in this country is tragically sick with a money addiction and it is tearing us all apart. Like that cable t.v. family our government has come to value money above all other things. It has been running Ponzi schemes on Americans for decades. Every conversation with politicians or about government revolves around money. Talk of taking money away from government and our representatives start freaking out and throwing crazed tantrums like a meth addict who can’t get find their pipe. Our government’s love of our money is dangerous and has torn this country to pieces… quite literally the Bible’s warning manifest -Washington’s love of money has become an evil. Our politicians no longer work for us, they work for money. Its what they love; it has replaced us in their hearts. That is why every “crisis” that comes up on the Hill – be it the debt ceiling, payroll tax, or whatever – seems to end with a drop in the bucket. Government doesn’t see the country’s financial health as an important issue. Those of us on the front lines in the rest of America understand that we are in deep doo-doo (pardon my French). We don’t need anymore drop-in-the-bucket solutions, we need to throw out the whole damn bucket! The water’s been contaminated and it can never be safe to drink from again. We understand how desperate the situation really is because we are living paycheck to paycheck, working everyday to figure out how to afford decent lives for our children. The Beltway politicians have no such worries. Love of money has taken away their compassion for the average citizen. Any issue brought to the Hill is immediately confronted with the same question: How can we keep more money in Washington? If you’ve ever had the uncomfortable opportunity of conversing with a crackhead (and I hope you never have to) you quickly came to understand that their entire conversation with you was based on one main question that most likely ran through their head the whole time: How can I get this person to give me more of their money so I can buy drugs? It’s the same concept as what is happening in Washington right now.
America is the freest nation on Earth. No other country has ever enjoyed so much opportunity, cleanliness, prosperity and safety at any other point in history. We have harnessed the power of freedom and turned it into wealth. The downside of that freedom-produced wealth is that it can to easily turn from productivity to greed. We’ve crossed the line and now we have a bunch of full blown addicts running the country.
What’s needed is an intervention. The tea party began the work a few years ago and some in the mainstream media think the movement has faded because the protests are not as abundant anymore, but I think differently. I think the tea party has shifted focus. Protests get noticed, but if we keep electing the same addicts over and over again we’ll never be able to treat Washington’s addiction properly. I hear from tea party groups all over the country who are actively involved in state and local elections, working on seeing strong fiscal conservatives elected. They have not faded in their tenacity; only their mission has changed. Americans of all stripes are waking up to the fact that they’ve been supporting the habits of a wayward government for far too long. We still have long way to go, but it’s a good start to recognize how we’ve enabled these addicts for decades. The love of money is the root of all evil, indeed…and that root has entrenched itself in the swampy underbelly of Washington D.C. Its going to take a lot of work to get it out.