The Midway Point

The Midway Point

A reader put forth the idea that the pendulum was swinging back toward the midpoint of truth because he was pleased at some recent political developments.

I was curious to know what center points of truth he believed the pendulum had swung over as I did not see much realization of truth either in the politicians or the people.

Let’s go back to Abraham Lincoln again. Most of us agree that he was a great avatar, and moved the nation and world forward for the cause of freedom. There were three things he did that demonstrated that he sought a Middle Way:

[1] He saved the Union. In doing this is been criticized by some for not honoring states rights and normally states rights should be respected. But at that time the southern states were using the states rights argument to enslave a whole race of people. And because of this abuse of power Abraham Lincoln was correct stepping in and overriding the idea of state’s rights to save the Union. If it had been reversed and the North had seceded from the Union to establish freedom instead of slavery using the argument of states rights then one would have been correct to support such a thing. But, as it was, Lincoln used the second key of judgment to save the Union on correct principles.

[2] The second thing he did, which was correct, was to abolish slavery. On hindsight we can now see slavery was a definite evil that needed to be eliminated. On this principle of freedom Lincoln was definitely standing at the midway point of truth.

[3] The third thing Lincoln did was to promote the settlement of the West, expansion of free enterprise and the expansion of ownership of land. He laid groundwork for a great prosperity that was to come in the United States that affects us to this day.

Now let us look at the issues of our day and pick where we think the midway point of truth may lie and see if any of our politicians or our president are taking us in the right direction:

[1] First let’s look at our economy. The first and most important aspect of any economic program is the budget. Spending must basically equal the amount of money available. So the midway point of truth that any politician should advance us toward is a balanced budget. Is anyone doing that? No! Any leader seeking the midway point of truth, discovered through judgment, will lead us to control spending and a balanced, or at least a responsible budget.

[2] Taxes. As a nation if we consider all of our taxes income tax sales tax, real estate taxes, use taxes hidden taxes and so on we spend over 50% of our income on taxes. The amount of money we spent on taxes is 1000 miles away from The Middle Way. The Middle Way on taxes should be somewhere between 10 to 25%. I’m not talking about just income taxes but all taxes should not exceed this amount. Do you see any politician leading us to the midway point on this? No.

[3] Another hot button issue is abortion. Where would the midway point on abortion be? Certainly not to use abortion as birth control and, on the other hand, highly structured laws to abolish it do not work either. One thing we all agree on is we want the number of abortions to go down. To follow the midway point one would listen to both sides of this issue and encourage each a lively debate where both sides are heard not only before the public but in the schools. Young people need educated on both sides of this issue so they can make, in connection with their parents, informed decisions about their destiny. Few if any politicians are seeking this Middle Way Path.

[4] Now let’s look at the military. We still live in a dangerous world. Yes, it would be nice if we could just sing kumbaya and have another peace dividend. The trouble with the peace dividend is that it was temporary and we had to take that peace dividend and then spend it on rebuilding the military after the 911 disaster.

Missile defense could be the salvation of, not only our country, but the world. Without it we are in danger of a nuclear holocaust. Reducing missile defense spending definitely misses the middle way of truth. Until the world is a safer place we have to have enough military strength to prevent tyrants from taking over the world and reducing civilization to ashes.

[5] Freedom. The tendency of this country and the free nations of the world is to increase regulations, restrictions and forced social programs. All of these things take away our freedoms. The midway point, remember is not in the exact center between two extremes, but the Middle Way is the point of truth between the two extremes. So how much freedom should we have? The amount of freedom we should have is not in the exact middle between the freest societies of the world and the most restrictive societies of the world. The midway point of freedom is always the maximum amount of freedom that the consciousness of the individual or society can use.

Throughout the history of the world individual freedom has always been restricted more than it should have been. The one great surge forward in freedom was the establishment of the Constitution of the United States and the freedoms that were allowed its citizens thereafter. Since that time almost every politician has sought to diminish freedom, feeling that we are not responsible enough to use it. So they must tell us how to use our freedoms. We are far from the midway point of freedom and neither the president or Congress as a whole has a clue as to where this midway point of freedom is. The people themselves are going to have to lift their voice to make their desires known if things are going to change. I believe the leadership to advance freedom will rise from the midst of the people rather than from the midst of Congress or the presidency for the next generation or two.

[6] Personal responsibility. It is the tendency of almost all leaders Congress and presidents to relieve citizens of personal responsibility and attempt to become our saviors and parents. Creating a nation that is dependent upon its leaders and money taken from the rich and giving to the poor is far removed from the midway point of truth considering personal responsibility. If people are taught to be responsible for themselves and their own destiny they will rise up and do great things and be able to become servants for the world and humanity itself. But if they’re taught, they must depend upon government and its handouts personal responsibility will be crippled and the nation will be brought to its knees. A true leader seeking The Middle Way will set an example of personal responsibility and inspire people to become successful through their own efforts. When people expect to succeed through their own efforts the main thing they want is for people, organizations and government to stay out of their way and let them pass and move onward toward success.

[7] Partisanship. A leader seeking The Middle Way will seek what is good for this country before he will seek what’s good for his party. Lincoln in seeking the good of his country sought the best people to assist his administration and for his cabinet. Instead of merely seeking people who agreed with him he reached across the aisle and chose a number of Democrats and opponents to serve with him. Some of these people were strongly opposed to him when he ran for president but Lincoln realized that some of his former enemies were very intelligent and he needed them in perilous times.

Now in this day and age placing someone from the other party in a prominent position is a rare thing but unfortunately, it’s also rare to place anyone in a powerful position that disagrees with the president.

So, I don’t see any evidence of catching the point of truth at the present moment. I think the pendulum currently swings to the left all over the world. This has the effect that anyone presenting something fairly moderate, or reasonable is in danger of being called an extremist.

As I said before the cycles of the pendulum swinging are many. There are yearly cycles, cycles lasting several years and even thousands of years. So at any point in history, we have cycles within cycles affecting us. This is why we see conservative domination in some areas and liberal domination in other areas within the same time period.

From what I’ve seen and studied of the current situation I see little evidence of the Middle Way approach to anything. I would be happy to see a change of direction on this, and would be delighted to see politicians do positive things to take us toward greater freedom security and economic prosperity.

I wouldn’t bet my mother’s operation money on it though.

The best prayers have often more groans than words. —John Bunyan

Nov 8, 2008

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