In a refreshingly frank essay in the Spring, 2009 issue of The Wilson Quarterly, Singaporean Kishore Mahbubani warns Americans against thinking that the United States cannot fail. He exposes and explains a good many reasons why we find ourselves in our current mess, and his analysis pulls no punches. He is especially hard on us for our irresponsible way of living and on our lawmakers for their corruption and self-serving ways. We're not being realistic if we don't think America can fail. Mr. Mahbubani demonstrates penetrating insights into the nature of our present morasse, but he is not as adept at pointing the way out. He believes that what Americans need to do in order to keep from failing as a nation is to adopt a regimen of sacrifice. Now there's an idea to which contemporary Americans will readily gravitate. Why didn't someone think of that before? Specifically, Mr. Mahbubani has three recommendations: Stop subsidizing American cotton farmers; establish an additional $1 per gallon tax on gas; and - this is surely the most starry-eyed of all - "Every American politician should declare that the long-term interests of the country are more important than his or her personal political career. As leaders, they should be prepared to make the ultimate political sacrifice in order to speak the truth..." Right. Just where does Mr. Mahbubani think that Americans are suddenly going to conjure up this lifestyle of sacrifice, setting aside their own immediate interests for the good of the nation, the world, and the future? Self-sacrifice is a religious virtue, and even though over 70% of Americans claim to be Christians, this is not a virtue their pastors or church leaders have taught them to embrace. The idea is right on, but in the present environment, it's not likely to happen. For our part we will continue seeking the Lord for revival, for only when He brings that will the kind of sacrificial living we really need begin to be in evidence once again.
T. M. Moore
- Psalm 137:4-6 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land?
- Psalm 137:1-3 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.
- Psalm 119:41-42 Let Your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your promise;
- Psalm 136:23-26 It is He who remembered us in our low estate, for His steadfast love endures forever;
- Psalm 136:10-22 to Him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for His steadfast love endures forever;