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Hugh Hewitt Book Club


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Changes in presidential administrations define periods in which it is convenient to look at how the nation has changed.  Many try to say the president is responsible for all the change that occurs, but I disagree.  A given president comes to symbolize the changes that occur during his/her administration, but we are doing the changing.  There have been some good articles recently that look at the change that has occurred in the last few years.  The most comprehensive is from Pew.  But there is really nothing there that has not been in previous Pew studies on specific issues.

Back in December Michael Barone wrote about how the last election has changed the rules.  I am not convinced.  The last election was absolutely won by a different set of rules, but can anybody besides Trump play that game and win?

Studies out of Canada look at theology and church growth, or death.  Most conservative Christians would look at this study and figure, “No – Duh.”  Which raises interesting questions  Conservatives seem to understand things because they experience them while liberals need “academic studies.”  The differences in epistemology between the Left and Right is probably the reason the divide between them grows wider and more difficult to bridge.  The Davos set seems stunned that religion remains such an important factor in American life.  But what is really stunning is that they think of religion purely in economic terms.

Finally, a small throw away comment by Nancy Pelosi reveals the biggest trend of the last decade or so.

PJ Media put up a video yesterday of Nancy Pelosi stating, “You want grandma living in the guest room? You repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

The Queen of Mean reveals a major reason that some liberals are so afraid that the government will not provide 100% for family members: one of these family members might have to depend on them for help. Looking beyond the argument of how to best manage healthcare in our country to the moral issues that Pelosi brings up, I find her choice of words telling.

There is nothing new about narcissism, in many ways it is the fallen human condition.  What seems so different in the last decade is not even that we no longer struggle to overcome narcissism, it is that we now want to institutionalize our narcissism and force others to support it.  No longer do we seek money from the government teet, now we seek total support for our complete self-absorption.

As the process to repeal and replace Obamacare continues, “grandma in the guest room” is going to be a significant tell about where we are headed next.  There are significant financial issues involved, whether in a facility or in the home, care for the elderly and infirmed ain’t cheap.  It is an area where government assistance is needed.  But – and this is a huge “but” – at he end of life so many of us struggle with mental and emotional issues as well as physical.  The various forms of dementia that mark many lives leave us in a place where our humanity is no longer defined by ourselves, but by the community around us.  There is nothing more dehumanizing than the kind of processing that is needed to get government assistance.  Go to the DMV for just a taste, you’re not a person, you’re a piece of meat to be processed and moved to the next station.

The afflictions from which so many of the elderly suffer already causes many to view them with such meat-like status.  If our means of assisting them enhances that status then we will be giving up some of our own humanity as well.  When we consider the “replace” portion of “repeal and replace” we need to think carefully about how to deal with “grandma in the guest room.”  We need to find a way to encourage the basic humanity of both the elderly and infirmed and those that care for them.  Otherwise, the future of the nation is a very bleak one.


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