Losing The Future: A Discussion With Adam Baldwin

April 4, 2011 / 10:05 am • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

How bad is it, really? President Obama and his soundbite messaging insist that we’re “winning the future”. Adam Baldwin, actor and conservative begs to differ. He talks about where we really are as a country, right now.

Adam and I had a “big picture” discussion about where the country is financially. It’s not the most uplifting conversation. But then, if you want sunshine and delusion, watch an Obama presser. Here’s a link to the podcast. It’s about 30 minutes long.

Over the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been writing. I decided to just take a break. I needed perspective. The big picture gets murky when lost in the depths of policy but since the devil’s in the details, many watchdogs stay there. And yet, the big picture needs to be understood to put the details in context. Sometimes one can swim so deep and lose which end is up.

While thinking about politics in the greater context, I’ve been reminded, yet again, that the most important discussions are happening elsewhere. What are people learning at church? What are people seeing on TV? What beliefs are being transmitted directly into the minds of people which completely trump any political and economic reality?

The fact is, in modern American life, even with the country and currency on the brink of economic disaster (and this is not just hand-wringing–nearly every expert I’ve spoken with believes that the dollar is weakening, that trust is nigh unto lost), most people cannot seem to care.

To pull a nerd reference, it’s like the Star Trek episode where everyone is playing that sunglasses video game–utterly blind to the world around them. With our modern ability to control so much of our media experience the illusion is that we control the message, but it’s not true. We don’t even fully grasp the extent to which we’re controlled; all of us, including those of us fighting it.

President Obama knows this. So while political activists deride his obsession with his NCAA bracket, President Obama knows that more people care about that than they do about the fact that the President is responsible for their job losses if they’re oil workers, as an example. They care more about that then his selling out of the taxpayer interests in service of greedy union bosses. So, President Obama golfs knowing that the press will shrug their shoulders. He knows that the war isn’t won in the political realm at all.

Serious issues like the budget are treated as ideological fights rather than a something tangible and real and with consequences. Anyway, it seems the real fight is outside of politics and in the popular culture. The real fight is in the realm of ideas and philosophy. And our immediate gratification, neutered culture is teaching one message and our political class, well half of them anyway, are fighting that message in order to make responsible decisions.

It’s an epic battle. We risk losing the future if we don’t fight on the real battlefield.