Thursday, July 30, 2009
Is It Any Wonder?
Out of the rubble of WWII one nation emerged intact and whole. Only America’s Pearl Harbor, a naval base on a small pacific island, suffered the ravages of a war that left much of the developed world smoldering.
The United States had the luxury of converting the might of its intact industrial infrastructure back to civilian purposes. While expending a tremendous amount of capital rebuilding Europe and Japan the U.S. faced little economic competition from them or the rest of the world – at least until the 1960’s. Just as significant and ultimately more important was the simple fact that the U.S. had the largest contiguous, single language, interconnected market the world had ever seen.
By the 1950’s America had a telephone network that stretched from sea to shining sea. Television and radio networks blanketed the lower 48. An ambitiously planned interstate highway system was being built that would connect the most remote desert plain to the largest city with a ribbon of nonstop concrete. Commercial air travel began to rival commercial rail travel. Businessmen and entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork to build, buy and sell everything a young suburban family could dream of. Every family had a car and some had two. Most important of all the super markets had food aplenty. Life in the USA was grand.
Begs the questions: Is it any wonder America prospered? Was it destined to go on forever?
Nothing lasts forever. The question of what happened to the United States of America will not be answered by anyone alive today, but we are living in the beginning of the end. Death will not be the result of old age, neglect or murder; it will be due to suicide.
Historians, sociologists will and social psychologists will write volumes on the pathologies that led the most successful nation the world had ever seen to slit its own throat.
Americans have a right to know – regardless if we care or not – why we killed ourselves…
Reason #1 Bread – (Victims of our own success)
Some people look to July 20th 1969 as the very pinnacle of American greatness. I’m not so sure. It was the day man walked on the moon for the first time. The success of the moon challenge was a modern marvel but did it represent the climax of our culture? Did it surpass our amazing farming and food distribution systems? Did it exceed the breadth and scope of the Internet? Did it trump the boundless entrepreneurial drive and ambition to create something out of nothing?
The reasons for the success of America were as diverse as the constituents that made up our melting pot. When people who came from all over the world were allowed by the powers that be to individually pursue their own happiness and keep the fruits of their own labor great things were bound to happen. So, in the end, America became fat and happy. The endless toil of mere existence that was and still is true for most of humanity was eradicated by the success of the American system. For God’s sake there were some 40 types of toothpaste to choose from – is that success or what?
Slowly, incrementally a mentality developed that no one should ever fail, no one should ever suffer, and where there was failure and suffering the government would step in and make it right. This was the cancer of good intentions. Cancer indeed.
Reason #2 Circuses – (Navel gazing/media/entertainment)
Fat and happy… When too many people are too comfortable ambition becomes the victim. Slowly but surely we became a nation of spectators not doers. CD’s DVD’s cable television, Internet access, reality TV (ex: American Idol), ultimate fighting, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, March Madness and even, God forbid, soccer were available 24/7 for our pleasure. We’d sit on the couch munching on chips while swooning over Brittany, Paris, and Michael, enrapt in the mystery of the latest missing child and bemused by the latest philandering politician. All this while the powers that be in public office and corporate boardrooms robbed us blind.
Worst of all the utter crap some called entertainment was exported around the world as a quasi ambassador of “America” showing one and all our very best face. Here in our homes, NBC, one of the dominant media conglomerates, offered story after story of how terrible it was to live and suffer in America. Nine of ten stories on the nightly newscast featured just another reason we should’ve been appalled or apologetic for being Americans. Every night the message to America was – you are the Land of the Unfair, Home of the Arrogant.
Reason #3 Man in the Mirror – (Self loathing)
Sometimes I think Americans are all Minnesota Vikings fans. There are none more self loathing than Minnesota Vikings fans. No matter how good the team plays, no matter how many touchdown passes the quarterback throws they’re all bums. They’ll never win the big one, ever.
With the media, the universities and most social organizations controlled by the leftist movement America never did anything good, ever. America was arrogant, wasteful and greedy. As long as the evil Christian white man breathed America was the source of all the world’s problems. It’s true, yeah, just ask any college professor at the time…
Had you ever heard the phrase “food is the root of all evil”? No, that’s silly, food is a necessity, we all need it. The phrase is “money is the root of all evil”. Well, it’s actually the “love” of money that is the root of all evil. Money is a necessity too - we all need it. America was all about the almighty buck and there was nothing wrong with that. Making money, profiting from hard work, from buying and selling, from loaning and collecting is all good and should not have been looked down upon. Because of the excesses of the few we were all trained to hate capitalism. Yet, capitalism was what delivered unto us all the riches we had. When we hated capitalism we hated America.
Once capitalism and Christianity were discredited and political correctness was thoroughly entrenched it was open season on the very foundations of America. Self loathing became fashionable, a fad that never died.
Reason #4 Absolute Power – (Corruption)
Corruption is not a uniquely American thing, it’s a human thing. It is the thing that has brought down most emperors and empires. It brought down America. I suspect corruption in one form or another had always existed in this country. The difference in the twilight of America was that those who wielded power in the public spotlight didn’t even care to hide it anymore. In fact, cheaters and con artists were often treated as some kind of folk heroes. Those who wielded the real power lurked in the shadow of the cover these celebrity crooks provided. Politicians in powerful positions in Washington represented their contributors and “special interests” while they publically blamed those same interests for the nation’s problems. It was downright Orwellian, and/or Marxist (as in the Marx Brothers).
Corporate officials at the highest levels dismissed any vestiges of national allegiance in order to maximize the quarterly numbers even when it meant the economic destruction of their very own neighborhoods and cities. Due to regulatory rules, tax rules and “rules” of Wall Street the businessman who followed the laws of the jungle often had no choice in the matter. Yet these same self proclaimed capitalists deftly worked over their political contacts in government and created the rules that stacked the deck against their competition which, ultimately, dissected America’s manufacturing sector. The average Joe either had to navigate the changing tides and re-educate themselves for new types of jobs or get washed out to sea.
Yet, perhaps the most devastating corruption came with a thick accent. Immigration laws and rules that were ignored by governments and employers so that one could get votes and the other could get cheap labor devastated entire cities and industries. Politicians loved to point out that these jobs taken by people who came to the U. S. illegally and continued to break American laws were the jobs Americans wouldn’t do. Pure poppycock, of course. The final blow came when it became illegal for American civilians to defend the nation’s borders when the constitutionally bound authority – the Federal government - refused to do it.
Reason #5 Do Not Resuscitate - (RIP U.S.A.)
There’s really nothing left to say except move over Great Britain, make some room on the bench…