Government Extravagance and Mass Democracy: The federal government spent $6.8 trillion in fiscal year 2021. The excess of spending over tax revenue created a $2.8 trillion deficit in that year. The Biden Administration proposes to spend additional trillions and to raise taxes substantially. The Congressional Budget Office projects that deficits will total $15.1 trillion between FY2021 and 2031, and that federal debt held by the public will rise from 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product ($22.3 trillion) today to 106 percent of GDP ($35.8 trillion) by 2031, which would surpass the record level of federal debt set during World War II. The CBO also projects higher inflation (which is already occurring) and rising interest rates, which will adversely affect the budgets and savings of all Americans.
Foreign Policy and National Defense: The United States faces serious challenges to its national interests from potentially hostile nations such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is rapidly modernizing its capabilities. China’s recent launch of a long-range maneuverable hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead is a potential game changer. China is expanding its militarization of the South China Sea and poses a threat to Taiwan and possibly to other east Asian nations. Its “Belt and Road” initiative seeks to make China the dominant economic power in Eurasia. To pay insufficient attention to the Chinese threat is to repeat the mistake of Britain and its allies in the 1930s in underestimating the German menace.
The Afghanistan Debacle: When the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States occurred, it was clear that Afghanistan had harbored and supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda, so our military invaded Afghanistan and successfully disabled those terrorist entities in that country. The George W. Bush Administration decided to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan and to encourage the formation of a modern, democratic government in the country. This process became known as “nation building,” which we also tried (with equal lack of success) in Iraq. Subsequent administrations continued America’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Education: American education continues to deteriorate. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 forced the closure of many public schools, and children had to learn online or through home instruction. As a consequence, parents discovered, to their dismay, what their kids were actually being taught in the public schools. It was obvious that the quality of the teaching did not match what the parents expected.
Social Breakdown: Following the killing of a black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, rioting, looting and outbreaks of mob violence occurred in cities all across the country. The police officer was tried, convicted, and sent to prison, but the appropriate use of legal process did not stop the rioters, led by Antifa, Black Lives Matter and other radical organizations who were supported by America’s leftist media and academic elites. Political leaders in American cities did little or nothing to stop the violence. We know from history what happens when mobs in the street begin to control what happens in the cities. In the United States, the FBI reported that in 2020 murders rose by 29.4 percent compared to the previous year and the overall violent crime rate was up by five percent.
American Culture: During the first two-thirds of the 20th century, the United States still had what could be described as a common culture. While modernism had certainly produced a certain amount of disruption in art, manners, and taste, there was a general acceptance of traditional moral and religious values, including personal responsibility, standards of behavior, and respect for law and order—even during the Great Depression. In the 1960s, these values began to deteriorate. Academic standards were lowered. A culture of rock music and drugs contributed to a mindless ethos of noise and vulgarity. Now, in the early decades of the 21st century, the “post-modern” culture reflects a culture that is rootless, devoid of spiritual values, disconnected from the past, infatuated with technology and driven by global markets with no traditional moorings or permanent ideals. In a secularized culture, God is forgotten and mammon reigns.
The Media: The news media have always been a vital part of American culture. Traditionally, American newspapers and other media outlets have reflected a wide variety of opinions. Today’s dominant “mainstream media” (including the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio and their acolytes) have become politicized followers of the leftist agenda.
Immigration: Since its founding, the United States has benefited from a steady and relatively manageable influx of productive and motivated immigrants, mostly from European countries. Until the 1960s, the flow of immigrants was limited by various quotas and restrictions. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, however, which permitted “chain migration” of family members, there was a surge of immigration, especially from Mexico and Central America and more recently from Africa and Asia. Much of this immigration in recent decades has been illegal, and many of the migrants are lacking in basic skills and are less likely to assimilate than previous immigrants.
The Leadership Crisis: To overcome crises like those described above requires competent leadership. But such leadership is in short supply in America today. The leadership of Joe Biden since his inauguration in January 2021 has been an abject failure. His management of the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster.
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