Who’s going to save America’s soul?

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Making Sense By Michael Reagan

Lent is over – and I’m kind of sorry.

As a practicing Roman Catholic, I observe Lent every year.

The Britannica defines Lent as a solemn period of penitential preparation in Christian churches before Easter that provides 40 days for fasting and abstinence in imitation of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.

“Giving up” something that you enjoy in your daily life is a widely known part of observing Lent. Usually, adults give up something like wine or red meat or golf.

But this year, I swore off social media.

For 40 days and nights, I stayed away from X, Facebook and the thousands of other digital temptations that make social media so addictive, aggravating and dangerous to our country’s mental and political health.

Some people say that swearing off social media was a brave thing to do — a real sacrifice. But it really wasn’t.

It was such a nice vacation from the daily madness of our country’s most important communications forum that I have barely gone back to it.

I realize now how little I missed in those 40 Internet-less days. All the big old problems we had in the world before Lent started didn’t get solved, plus we got some new ones.

We still have an open Southern border, high inflation and too much crime. We are still tangled up in bloody, costly and dangerous wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

We still have an incompetent and embarrassing president in the White House and a highly partisan Congress whose power is so evenly split nothing good can get done.

And in addition to still having a flood of illegal immigrants bankrupting our cities with their social welfare needs, we have a new crazy thing – squatters.

The housing laws in cities are so upside down, squatters are allowed to move into people’s vacant homes and stay there while the legal owners must spend two months in court to get them evicted.

I’m particularly disappointed by the failings of the Republican Party, which has a razor-thin majority in the House.

The GOP, which is held back by factions and rogue members like Marjorie Taylor Greene, spends more time trying to get rid of people within its own ranks than it does trying to fix America.

This week, for example, we have Greene calling for the ouster of Republican Speaker Mike Johnson over the Ukraine funding bill and charging him with being “a Democrat” comparable to Nancy Pelosi.

During my 40 days of preparing for Easter and “giving up” social media, I did a lot of praying for America – and a lot of worrying.

Where are we going? What are we doing to solve our problems? People are so angry and divided. What are we doing to work together?

Where is a leader who’ll make us feel better? Who’s offering an uplifting message all Americans can get behind?

What are we doing to make America a better place? My father was elected in 1980 in large part because he was an optimist. He made us all feel proud to be Americans. He looked forward to a brighter future for America, not backward to its faults.

None of the awful stuff that is wrecking our political discourse and tearing apart our social fabric is going to change anytime soon.

The election this fall won’t fix things. One party’s message is “Hate Trump.” The other party’s is “Hate Biden.”

Whichever one brings out the most hate mongers will win. But no matter who gets elected president, there’s likely to be riots in the streets.

We might be able to solve an economic problem or an immigration problem or two with an election. But what – or who – is going to solve the problem of America’s heart? And soul.

Copyright 2024 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.