America’s Loss of Virtue

October 5th, 2011, bySean Nixon

Recently, like many of you, I witnessed and heard men and women cheering for a 30-year-old man not to get medical treatment and screams of “let him die” fill the air.

It was one of the worst moments I’ve seen in American politics. It was a heartless and unpatriotic display of contempt that underscores the loss of virtue in our society towards one another. Clearly, there’s no shortage of people to tell you what’s wrong with our country today.

But, what we seem to lack these days are men and women on the ground in and around our communities, leading with human decency and not depravity. As things stand today, we seem to have a citizenry that has plenty of venom, but lacks any sense of virtue.

In politics there’s no shortage of individuals saying, “God bless America;” but if America is going to be so heartless, can we really ask God to then bless it? If we’re going to be so ill-willed towards one another, we might as well remove the words “In God We Trust” and from our currency. Because a country that truly believed in God wouldn’t be so deprived of the spiritual compassion and human decency that are missing in this nation’s politics.

Even in our nation’s most notably held past debates, there were hotly contested discussions on real issues. In fact, when debates over these issues occurred, thousands attended to hear ideas concerning the paramount issues of the day. In that era, when men spoke of their political ideas, they defended their positions with conviction, not venom. I suspect the audiences did likewise and think we could all take a page from their era in doing the same.

As the stage is set for the next Republican debate on October 11, here’s my suggestion: hold one another accountable. Whether you’re a schoolteacher in the Midwest, or a political junkie in the Northeast or just a concerned citizen in general, take a stand against the fringe elements out there.

The more we begin to hold one another accountable for the shameful things people do and call them out when they’re doing the wrong thing, the sooner we’ll have an America God truly can bless.

Question: Are we really doing any better spiritually or morally than our forefathers when it comes to civility?

  • Dan Slaby

    It’s a myth to believe that politics in America was at some point not contentious, roudy or violent. The Civil Rights and counter-culture movement of the 60′s did result in quieting down politics somewhat as people lost the Vietnam War as an issue in the 70′s. The recent increase of in-civility reflects the growing polarization of politics and narrowing of the margin in elections. Nice campaigning does not energize the voters as much as negative campaigning and we end up with so much hard feelings that there is no closure on election day. Slander is not truth, even though it is repeated consistently through out the campaign and in commentaries in blogs and radio talk shows. Civility may not degrade to the level of brawls and shoot-outs of our past history, but the net effect of having a winner and loser is that the winner claims a manadate and the loser gets sore and wants revenge. In a society where competition is the holy grail of morality, everyone loses including the winners.

  • Esmeralda

    “What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.” Samuel Gompers A big,huge dominant part of life is work and how well people are treated at work can be a blessing for society in general.

  • Latiff Seruwagi

    The United States has never really been a politically civil nation. If one thinks of virtue in general, the United States has never been a more virtuous nation than it is today. For instance, Americans no longer believe as a people that enslaving a populus is morally acceptable.

Last modified: October 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm