Last Monday, FOX News contributor Fr. Jonathan Morris editorialized on Barack Obama’s May 18 appearance at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland.
In “Hope, Obama Style?” Fr. Morris explains just what is wrong with seeking political “saviors,” of any party, in any country: “real progress always entails hard work, personal responsibility, and sacrifice.”
As in Biblical times, yesterday just off the shore of the Willamette River, boats dropped anchors to listen to a stirring message of hope from an unlikely source.
Have you seen the pictures? 65,000 people “” mostly white “” spent their Sunday afternoon in a park in Oregon, on land and water, to be part of the Obama Revolution”¦.
Ever since seeing the images of the doting crowds in Oregon, I’ve been thinking about hope “” what generates it and what makes it true”¦.
“¦[W]hat happens when old actions don’t produce the good results they used to?
What do we do when we can’t keep local gas prices from looking like Europe’s; when there is no easy solution to a war we dislike; when after all these months “” years “” nobody wants to buy our beautiful house; when our kids ignore the faith we hold dear, when the political party of our youth loses its identity?
It is in moments of despair, like these, when we are tempted by soft voices and quick fixes.
We would like to believe in a political savior who can liberate us, painlessly.
Here’s news, that’s not going to happen. In fact, pain-free progress didn’t even happen when the prophet preaching from the shore was divine, and when the message was spiritual redemption: “Pick up your cross and follow me.” Remember?
In every face of this imperfect world “” and especially in politics “” real progress always entails hard work, personal responsibility, and sacrifice.
When a candidate tells us HE will change things and that WE should hope in him, then we can know for sure his promises of hope are empty. If he tells us HE will take away from the rich and give to the poor “” instead of creating incentives for the poor to better themselves and motivations for the fortunate to be better neighbors “” then his promises for justice are empty.
Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director, Development Coordinator, and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s premier free market think tank.