Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

I was struck by Sunday’s Campus Question, which asked, “Is idealism less about advocating ideal solutions than whether and how we struggle with challenges that have no ideal solutions?”

For me, whatever we as a nation do, we as citizens each own a part of. You may or may not agree with this stand. We can agree with our leaders and voice our support or we can disagree with our leaders and voice our disapproval. For any stance, surely someone will send us an email petition to help us participate. On the other hand, we can ignore the role our country plays in world affairs and just tend our own gardens.

Last night’s question focused on the spectrum of choices between pure idealism and the pragmatic confronting of evil including the use of military force. Today we have 2,275,895 active duty and reserve members of the armed forces. This in a country of 308,745,538 people. That, given rounding errors and date comparison issues is roughly 1.35% of the population serving in the armed forces. That low percentage may lead voters to think, “Well I am not personally affected.”

The way to link Fred to this discussion is taxes and spending. Time Magazine reports:

All told, U.S. military spending in 2011 will exceed $700 billion – the most since World War II. That amounts to more than half of all government discretionary spending. It represents 35% of total military spending on the planet.

Whatever a voter may think about the discussions about the US sometimes choosing the lesser of the evils solutions, as citizens we all have our hands dirty in the struggle of good triumphing over evil. As citizens, we are in the best sense of democracy, responsible for our government’s actions. It is up to each of us and all of us to hold our government accountable.

When American exceptionalism and “bomb Iran” come up with voters this year, I intend to lead them through this path and ask if they really want another superficial macho man President that will raise either their taxes or the deficit to finance ill considered foreign interventions.

Reader Comments Welcome.