Yet recently my wife was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly my perspective on the world shifted as we faced this new invader which threatened the very life of someone I love. The very word "cancer" became the scariest word in the English language. Fortunately, for this particular type of cancer, there is a treatment and a cure with a very high success rate. We have a long road to travel, but the surgeons and the doctors have put my wife on a path of healing.
Focusing on cancer the past few months has given me a new appreciation for just how quickly a dangerous disease can derail our lives and change our focus on the most important things in life. By extension, thinking about the disease also helped me realize just how dangerous a place the world can be. It's a world that is one hundred percent fatal to everyone born into it.
Life's dangers can appear nearly overnight. Social and political dangers have overtaken us quite quickly, especially without strong and moral leaders in place to stand against the diseases which threaten our liberties. Cancer eats away at the very foundations of our republic. (See what I did there? I segued from a life's lesson about cancer to the disease eating at the foundations of our American republic.)
The cancer growing in our system is not unique to party or to politician. Our entire party system seems to be infected with the disease, although democrats seem especially susceptible to its debilitating effects. The disease seems to attack the brain first, destroying the little switch people used to have that allowed common sense to rule. It also attacks the heart, turning otherwise caring people into unfocused and selfish zombies.
The symptoms of the cancer are readily apparent to those who aren't affected, though extraordinarily difficult to self diagnose once the disease settles in. An infected person feels as though the world around him or her could suddenly be transformed into a magical place of peace and harmony if everyone would merely follow the beatific constraints of John Lennon's Imagined world.
The disease is dangerous, and socially fatal, since it deludes its victims into giving up control of their lives to some Utopian ideal that is ripe for the manipulation of conspiring men and women.
It hides reality behind a mask of simple platitudes.
It convinces otherwise decent human beings to despise and mock anything that could get in the way.
It convinces otherwise rational human beings that wrong is right, that evil is good, and that dark is light.
It blinds others to the harsh realities and dangers of the world, leading its victims to inevitable and terrible conclusions.
There are some still left who have been inoculated against the disease, who understand the plague that spreads through the United States. I vacillate between optimism and pessimism as to our chances of stopping its spread before we reach a catastrophic failure of the whole body.
Meanwhile, I'll focus on what's really important in life, which is to take care of my wife and to teach my children to love God.