Joseph Avenue Christmas is the story of one man's journey to the true meaning of Christmas. Not just the birth of the babe, but the salvation of the soul. Set on the wintry streets of Rochester, NY it is a visit to the heart of that city and the hearts of some of its best and bravest people. From their good example, and the simple lessons of their own lives and faith, a troubled man finds on a dark Christmas Eve an escape from an increasingly failed life.
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Today we take the measure of the national soul. Do we favor freedom, or an EBT card?
Do we want a government that will protect our borders, or wipe our arse? Is it about what you can do for your country, or what your country can do for you?
This is the fork in the road, and today we decide. This is the date upon which the future of the American Republic hangs.
And the outcome won’t be about parties or candidates. It will be about us.
Across the ballot, from top to bottom, this year’s election is notable for its clear choices. There are few shades of gray, few close calls. In race after race, the differences between candidates are stark and unmistakable.
The Democrats are true liberals and the Republicans are true conservatives.
In that, the parties have served well. For 200 years we have had a see-saw battle between the two great political philosophies of our nation. They have gone under different names and had evolving priorities, but it has always been about liberal versus conservative. And it has always been about a pitched fight between the two. That dynamic tension, that swinging pendulum, has been part of our national brilliance and success. We are not a nation of consensus, we are a nation of conquest – the electoral victory of one philosophy over another.
Today will be that.
The victory of one philosophy over another.
More specifically, today will be a decision about liberalism. Have we had too much, or have we had not enough. Do we need to recoil from our socialist big-government bent, or do we need to more fully embrace it?
One side offers one, and the other side offers the other.
And which we pick will be about us.
Because elections are about mirrors. Philosophical mirrors which the two parties hold up. We look in one, and we look in the other, and in one of them we will see ourselves. In the other one we will not. Simply put, voting in America is about which political mirror we see ourselves in. Which party speaks for our priorities, our values, our hopes and our soul.
The type of car you drive is a statement about you, not the dealer who sold it to you.
How we vote is a statement about us, not the parties whose candidates we vote for.
So today we take the measure of the national soul. And we will read the results very differently. Some will vote for echoes of 1787, when Madison wrote the Constitution. Others will vote for echoes of 1848, when Marx wrote “The Communist Manifesto.” But either way we will push forward from a foundation in the past. One based in America, the other in Europe.
It will be an important check of national sentiment and changing national mores.
America was a nation forged with the ethic of rugged individualism and passionate freedom. All we wanted from government was to be left alone. We were of all people the first and most free, and Liberty’s torch illuminated not just a harbor but a nation.
Nowadays, the government is bigger and we are smaller. The ability and necessity to make life’s big decisions are somewhat abridged, as choice and consequence are mutually stripped from us a paternalistic government.
Whereas happiness was originally framed a pursuit, it is now seen as an entitlement. The things we believe we are owed have grown from freedom to food. Whereas once we had rights given by God, we now have entitlements given by Government.
Whereas government in America, where the people are represented and sovereign, was established to reflect and serve society, it now directs and defines society. We are not the government’s masters, we are its servants. Our whole lives are spent at its beck and call, from the content of our school lunches to the size or our toilets and the nature of our health care. We cannot eat, crap, suffer or die without falling under the dictate of government.
We have replaced a foreign tyrant with a domestic tyrant.
Or we have crafted government as a tool of justice that strips the rich to dress the poor. We have created for ourselves a Mother in Washington who gives to us safety by taking from us freedom.
Some will rejoice and some will weep.
Some will see glory ahead and others will see ruin.
But both can’t be right. One must be deluded, dishonest or false. Because one road cannot lead to both heaven and hell.
America has a choice today.
It is a moral choice.
And today’s results will be an insight into the American soul.