Must We Fall?

I have become perplexed at the willingness of some of my fellow Americans to simply abandon leadership in the world.  I am by no means advocating that our nation must stand in the position of the world’s policeman, and I certainly don’t hold with the idea that our troops should be employed in farcical “nation-building” pursuits, but it is still a dangerous world, and we still have vital interests all over its surface, leading me to wonder: If Americans won’t lead the world, who will? If we walk away and leave a vacuum in our wake, who is going to fill it?  I believe the current campaign of a contrived decline of the United States has been fostered and fomented by a foreign interest in alignment with a domestic threat to demoralize the American people and to remove them as an obstacle to a greater struggle for world domination.  If the American people fall for the proposition that our decline is inevitable, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I reject that proposition, and it’s my intention to oppose those who would easily accept such a premise on the basis that to do so is not merely a national surrender, but also an act of individual suicide.  To whom shall we now turn?   There are no others remaining to fight this battle. If we will not stand for liberty, who else will do it?

This nation was established by those who were willing to risk everything for the proposition that mankind should be free of the yoke of tyrannical empires, and that with wisdom, a good and moral people could rule themselves.  Now, barely more than two-and-one-third centuries later, the nation they had established seems on the verge of complete collapse.  With a poverty of elected leadership, the American nation has become fractured and its people splintered into factional politics that divides us and exploits the resultant weaknesses.  The wounds of our divisions are at once superficial and deep.  Most of us speak in the same language and of the same concepts, but at times it seems as though we’re referencing different dictionaries and lexicons.

Our prosperity in material wealth has followed our global influence.  Many regard the twentieth as the “American Century,” because our nation attained unrivaled heights precisely because we led the world, not into war as some historians would relate it, but into production on a scale never seen before in the history of mankind.  It was our productive capacity and our desire for material wealth that propelled the U.S. to previously unknown heights.  Now, in what most acknowledge to be the American decline, we have lost our productive will and we are stagnating because of it.  More, government now controls so many aspects of our national production of goods and services, in one way or another, that its constant mis-allocation of resources has created a tidal wave of squandered assets and wasted efforts that threatens to destroy the remaining functional engines in our staggering economy.

Of all the material necessities that provided our wealth, none had been more important than energy.  As a vast and productive nation, few things contributed more to our success than a relatively inexpensive stream of energy from various sources.  Anybody who studies the economic conditions in the U.S. in the last forty years must conclude without much intensive study that as energy prices have gone, so too has the general economy performed.  Twice, at least, in the last forty years, we have permitted our nation to become subject to the arbitrary threats posed by foreign despots who control much of the globe’s easily accessible energy stores.  Twice, we have slid into depression-like conditions, and the recoveries from the first was long and difficult.  If we are to have any hope to reclaim our position as the world’s leader in production, we must first find a way to fuel our economy.  Part of the solution will lie in developing the resources we already possess.  If we are to rescue this nation, we must use every energy resource at our disposal that makes economic sense.  To do less is to commit an act of national suicide.

Our current president is in the process of making energy more expensive, as he promised he would, and we naturally find that at the first hint that our economy might recover, energy prices begin to climb until they become the largest drag on a re-start of growth.  We sputter along for a time, but the soaring prices have their effect: The economy returns to a failing condition.  This permits the prices for energy to decline, but once it hits bottom, the engine of our prosperity attempts to re-fire, and as it coughs and sputters to life, prices in energy begin again to climb.  This begins the whole messy cycle over again, and yet not many in government seem able to grasp this simple concept.  We have been starved of the fuel of our prior prosperity, and like an engine with fouled injectors, we’re starving for half the mixture that will allow us to run at full speed.  There’s just enough fuel making it into the engine to keep it barely running at idle, but as the throttle begins to open, there simply isn’t the fuel to accelerate the engine, and it coughs, sputters, and dies.

The other crisis that is slowly destroying us is a horrible combination of irresponsible fiscal and monetary policies.  What must exist for an economy like ours to thrive is the formation of capital in an environment of stable money.  The dollar is being weakened intentionally by the actions of the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Government is hampering the formation of capital through its never-ending tinkering with the tax code, and its general hostility to the accumulation of wealth.  One could scarcely imagine a script by which to more easily undermine the country, but alas, there is more bad news.

The government’s fiscal policy is weakening our currency in concert with the inflationary policy at the Federal Reserve.  Our government is spending money at such a rate that it’s inconceivable.  We are now amassing debt in inflation-adjusted dollars that exceed the worst of our wartime borrowing during WWII.  What are we getting for our money?  We are getting nothing as the government pushes billions into boondoggles like Solyndra that go bankrupt and stiff us with the bill.  Perhaps worst of all, we now have a colossal dependent-class that lives in a subsidized permanent poverty.  This too has become a drag on our economy to the extent that sixty-five cents of every dollar spent by government goes to pay monthly benefits to individuals  under the auspices of some program or other.

We are in such a dire state that there is but one remaining alternative to save this country from collapse, and it lies with you to do it.  You, the producers of this country, must become the leaders.  You will need to say “no” to government at every turn, not just where it pinches others, but also where it may prick you.  When government proposes another program or function be added to the long list it already fails to administer, you must say “No.”  When demagogues propose “Jobs bills” that are nothing more or less than another spending binge in disguise, you must say “No.”  When local, state, or federal institutions of government propose more spending, you must say “No.”  At every turn, they must hear it from you. They must read it in their email, and in their web-browsing.  They must see this answer at every turn, but still, you have told them, and now they raise armies of thugs against you who must also be told “No.”  “No” to violence.  “No” to pleas for charity in the form of a threat or a demand.  “No” to further predations against your liberties. In every way, and at every turn you can exert your energies, you must tell them “No,” and mean it.

If we are to save the country, we will need for it to survive until a new election when you can tell them “No” in a different way, and when you get that opportunity, you will have a choice to say to “yes” to their sickening status quo, or “No,” but if you choose the latter you must mean it.  You must select elected officials who have demonstrated the willingness to say “No” in good times as well as bad.  At the local level, you must become engaged. On the state and national levels, you must be heard clearly. Refuse attempts to placate you with temporary benefits for which your children will pay.

If we who know the meaning and the value of America will not stand and fight for it, who will?  If we who know that freedom cannot coexist with statism of any variety fear to make that argument, to whom are we surrendering the country?  Many will say that it’s an “extremist’s position” to advocate on behalf of liberty, but to what end do their voices lead us?  America is a nation in decline primarily because we have accepted that proposition.  We’ve accepted the growth of government as a primary fact of our existence, in part because it’s what we have seen through the courses of our lives, but mainly because we’ve permitted ourselves to swallow that bankrupt theory that security can be purchased with a surrender of liberties.

Our founders knew that had always been a lie.  For those among us who need reminders, let them look at what happens when Israel has tried to trade land for peace and security.  Have they gotten any more of either?   Our nation is in decline because we permit it, and because we countenance sloth and indifference not merely in the wider culture, but too often, in our own lives.  The hopeful development is that for once, this may be changing.  For the first time in decades, it seems some number of Americans are waking up to all of this, and it is an opportunity we dare not squander.   It’s no longer as simple as pretending that we can avoid the disaster, each on our own, if we let America fall.  It will come down to us.  If we don’t take up this fight, none will.  There is nobody else left to do it.