Doc, I Feel Sick!

The most recent Rasmussen polls show that only 25% of American voters believe the United States is “headed in the right direction.” Republicans are almost unanimous in their belief that the country is headed in the wrong direction, with nearly nine in ten indicating that we are moving in some direction other than the “right one.” Somewhat surprisingly, Democrats were said to be equally divided as to the question of rightness of direction. The only votes of any level of confidence came from black voters and the chattering class, and they were at levels of just under 60%. In the world of political polling, this is an outstanding feat. Twenty-five percent of people, when polled, will tell you the sky is green.

What does it mean when most every thinking person in the country believes we are headed in the wrong direction? When asked the very straightforward question “Is the United States headed in the right direction?” (with the potential answers  limited to yes or no), what is the basis for our answer? Do 75% of voters believe we are headed in the wrong direction economically? Are their concerns linked to our standing in the international community? Is there an element of moral resignation in the sentiments being expressed? Certainly, the answer is to each of these questions is yes. I would suggest, however, that the basis for the consternation expressed in the Rasmussen survey runs much deeper than all of that. It speaks more directly to our collective loss of something much more important than our credit rating, our international standing, or even our defective moral compass.

At the base of our existence as individuals is a very human element that understands that we are individually important, and that our personal existences serve some grander purpose. It is what separates us from machines. Some may choose to call it “personal identity.” Others may think of it in a psychological context and refer to it as a type of consciousness. For some of us, the word soul best captures this essential humanity. Whatever it is, we all know that we individually possess it. And just as it is infinitely observable that as individuals we exhibit “soulish” behavior, so is it also true that we evidence the same qualities and characteristics as groups of people.

What the Rasmussen findings are telling us is that as a group of people called Americans, we are now sick-to-our-souls.

Sick-to-the-soul is the feeling we get when we are lost. It is the feeling we get when the rules have been changed, but no one has yet told us what the new rules are. It is the feeling we get when our best friend betrays us, or just ignores us for some unknown reason. Being sick-to-our-souls represents that wrenching sense that we have forgotten something really important, but cannot remember what it is. Soul-sickness is a social disease and it seems we are now almost universally afflicted with it.

As citizens of the United States we were not prepared for the likes of Obama and Reid and Pelosi. We had not built up any of the necessary antibodies. And we are now telling the pollsters that we feel very sick…we are just not sure exactly why. The people of Greece are sick too. It seems to be going around. Apparently large doses of both directionless and expansionary government are just too much for our feeble constitutions. Maybe we just need to eat more peas.

Let’s all hope this strangulation of our collective soul is short-lived. We all need to be feeling better.

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