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One Word Missing in the Election Debates

March 2016

by John Horvat II

 

“Everything can be found save the missing word, so necessary to fix our nation’s problems at its very core.”

Listening to the rhetoric in the present political cycle, there seems to be a missing word.

It is not “angst” or “frustration,” neither “equality” nor “jobs” or even the latest buzzword, “establishment.”

All these words are thrown around in the present debate. Being true politicians, candidates pepper their speeches with them, while promising everything to maximize voter benefits and placate their concerns. The word “anti-establishment” is now all the rage, even among those who actually benefited from being part of it.

The race is like an electoral supermarket, where voters can find all these words and promises, but it seems to do little to satisfy their agitated mood.

One aisle offers lower taxes (for most) or higher taxes (on others), free healthcare, free college, and jobs of every size and shape. Down another aisle, one can find less bureaucracy, fewer government programs, or increased military spending. There are special displays for classic socialism or socialism lite. Everything can be found save the missing word, so necessary to fix our nation’s problems at its very core.

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Two factors help explain voter discontent and the need for this missing word in the present debates.

The first is an internal factor: America’s institutions are crumbling. They no longer provide the solutions they once did. High on the list are government institutions that burden society with the weight of their cost and the rigidity of their regulations. To this can also be added declining schools, communities and churches.

Behind these crumbling institutions are the ruins of broken lives and relationships. One can also see the effects of hurried and stressful lives lived in what might be called the frenetic intemperance of the times where everyone must have everything instantly and effortlessly. And when one is not given everything, there are resentful cries of “unfairness” and “injustice” against a broken “establishment.”

That is why there are desperate calls for replacements or solutions that harken back to better times. Behind the anti-establishment angst is a desire for a quick fix to reconstruct the old establishment the way it used to be before it went awry, or to try new alternatives that offer an easy way out. Anything, that is, save one based on the key missing word, which no one dares to mention.

There is a second factor behind the discontent. This one is external. The old world order is breaking down. America is threatened by Islamic terrorism, global economic downturns, and disastrous foreign policy decisions. The world is a mess. People feel the uncertainty and insecurity of new world disorder.

Both factors are causing an immense anxiety that nothing in the electoral supermarket of benefits, free stuff and jobs can assuage. What is needed, and needed now, is the missing word lacking amid so much rhetoric. That word is sacrifice.

The crisis that the nation now faces is so huge that it will not be resolved without a spirit of sacrifice on the part of all Americans. Candidates need to have the courage to make this call that so contradicts a frenetically intemperate world. Such a call also presupposes higher ideals and causes that inspire people to selfless action.

Some might object that a call to sacrifice is political suicide in today’s climate. The supermarket is the safer course. But the nation’s history testifies to the contrary.

Whenever the call to sacrifice sounds, Americans rise to the occasion with great valor, Americans have always responded with touching dedication and generous hearts as they defend other and aid nations in distress. The sacrifices of American soldiers hold a special place in the hearts of most Americans who are deeply moved by their devoted service and selflessness, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and did not return.

Sacrifice. A noble word. And one missing in the debates. It’s not the only word needed, but it is a good start.

 


 As seen on americanthinker.com

 

 Click here to order your free Return to Order book by John Horvat II 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 5, 2020

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do...

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July 5

 

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegiti...

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Elizabeth of Portugal known as “The Holy Queen” was born Isabel of Aragon in Zaragoza, Spain, the daughter of King Pedro III of Aragon and Queen Constanza of Naples. She was named after her great aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

From childhood, having received a most Christian upbringing, she learned to practice self-discipline, mortification of wayward tendencies, the avoidance of sin and the pursuit of virtue, prayer and union with God’s holy will.

Beautiful, talented and good, she was sought in marriage by several European monarchs, and was ultimately betrothed by proxy at the age of thirteen to King Dinis of Portugal.

A year and a half later she arrived in Portugal to assume her responsibilities as queen. Although he was an able ruler, her husband had an irate temper and sinful habits. While he respected and revered his queen, he was unfaithful to her and had several illegitimate children.

Elizabeth bore the conjugal betrayal with exquisite patience and heroic magnanimity, praying continuously for her wayward spouse. She and Dinis had two children: Constanza and Alfonso.

The young queen started her day with Mass and prayer, and then proceeded to see to the governance of her palace. In the free moments she sewed and embroidered with her ladies for the poor, and personally tended to their needs. Afternoons were dedicated to the care of the elderly, the poor or anyone else in want.

Amazingly talented, Elizabeth mastered several languages, sang beautifully, and enjoyed a remarkable understanding of engineering and architecture. She herself designed and oversaw the building of several churches, monasteries and hospitals, developing her own “Elizabethan Style.”

One day while inspecting a construction site, a girl approached and gave her a bouquet of flowers. The queen then distributed the flowers, one to each of the workers saying: “Let’s see if today you will work hard and well for this pay.” The men reverently placed their flower each in his own satchel, only to find, at the end of the day, a gold coin in place of the flower.

In her city Elizabeth built hostels for the poor, a hospital, a house for repentant wayward women, a free school for girls, and a hospice for abandoned children. She built bridges in dangerous places, visited and procured doctors for the ill, and endowed poor girls for the convent or for marriage. She kept a beautiful tiara and wedding dress to lend to poor brides so they could “shine” or their special day. Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegitimate children.

A great devotee of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy centuries before the dogma was declared; she obtained from the bishop of Coimbra the establishment of the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, which was afterwards observed with great solemnity throughout the whole country.

A constant peacemaker, the holy queen ironed out many a conflict between bellicose rulers and nobles. Twice she reconciled her husband and son, on one occasion, even interposing her person between them in the battlefield.
In the end, Dinis died a most repentant man. In one of his poems he left his ultimate tribute to his ultimate queen:

God made you without peer
In goodness of heart and speech
As your equal does not exist,
My love, my lady, I thus sing:
Had God so wished,
You’d made a great king.  

After her husband’s death, Elizabeth took the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary and retired near a convent of Poor Clares which she had built, dedicating herself to the sick and the poor.

The saintly queen died at age sixty-five invoking Our Lady, and was canonized in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII who had vowed not to canonize anyone during his pontificate. He made the exception for Elizabeth at being promptly healed of a serious illness after praying to her.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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