Yesterday our home state of Texas became the 11th state to adopt the Convention of States resolution. My husband has been volunteering with this COS project for well over a year, and it’s literally the only thing he does apart from working, taking care of his chores around the house, and blogging a little. He’s not usually a very social or politically active person, so it’s nice to see him invest his time in a cause he believes in, and I have been happy to support him by showing up at events and helping visit and call state legislators.
For most of the last week, we were pretty sure the resolution would not pass the Texas House, due poison-pill amendments attached in committee and other state house shenanigans. In spite of looming looming defeat, we -dad, mom and homeschool student – dressed up, packed up, and headed up to the state capital building for a long day of watching the proverbial sausage being made. The procedural details of conducting business on the floor or the Texas house are inexplicable and mind-numbing, and to be honest a little depressing, but we felt it was important to be there, so we stayed. For hours. Late in the day, the resolution’s sponsor in the house offered and amendment to strip the previous amendments, which passed, and after some serious and some truly silly debate, the resolution was passed by a very clear majority. It took more than a few minutes to dawn on the large contingent of faithful supporters and volunteers in the gallery – we won.
The vote, and the subsequent “celebration” held by the COS project volunteers was somewhat anti-climactic, yet still strangely gratifying. And it was fun to turn on the radio during the drive home and hear Mark Levin open his show announcing that Texas has now become the 11th state to pass the Convention of States resolution (only 23 to go!), and yet this morning I am feeling somewhat ambivalent.
Our family is deeply patriotic, and believes strongly in the founding principles of this great nation. We mourn its decline and fear for its future. I always, always, always vote. I study the constitution and I teach it to my children. I pay close attention to what our elected representative at all levels of government are up to. I am happy and eager to do what I can stand up and speak out against corruption, waste and idiocy in our government where I see it. I do what I ought as a citizen. And yet, despite this small victory and the small glimmer of hope it brings, I feel all I do is not enough. It seems decline and decay and the ultimate dismantling of this truly exceptional idea of America is inevitable. So BenOp.
That is the balance. The crux. The conundrum. Continue to show up and participate in the public square. Or retreat and retrench, preserving the ideals of Christian morality, classical liberalism and civil society for (much) future generations. For now I will continue to do both. I will remain politically active but emotionally detached, for I know not to look to our government for my own salvation nor the salvation of the country that I love. And I will continue to remind myself that those are two very different things.