If you look out the window or drive to work or go to your kid's hockey game, everything looks pretty much like it always has. Almost entirely normal.
If you agree with that you probably shouldn't read any more of this post.
Because if you follow national politics, legal decisions, foreign relations, social trends, currency markets, energy markets, one gets a sense of a collapsing house of
cards. Every trend is headed in a frightening direction.
administration has demoralized our national psyche. The percentage of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force is at a 36-year high. Far too many seem to have lost hope of things getting better--at least during their lifetime. In every survey the percentage of Americans who think the nation is going in the wrong direction is higher than a month ago, a year ago or a decade ago.
For example, we now expect Obama to lie about virtually everything. No one is even surprised anymore. The only debate is whether his lies are malicious or simply a result of being uninformed. Neither conclusion is reassuring.
But the really depressing fact is that 53% of those who voted, voted for him — and many support him
still. That strikes me as the most accurate predictor of the future of our nation. And that prediction is...awful.
It's depressing to realize that 98% of the nation's media actively supported Obama for president, and deliberately suppressed all negative information about him as much as possible. How can that much concentrated malice or stupidity be corrected in a single human lifetime?
You can imagine a nation as a big jet airliner: It's been carefully designed to carry loads a full 50% higher than it will ever actually have to carry. That's called the design margin. Then it was very carefully built exactly to plans. But over time the gremlins of corrosion and age nibble away at that design margin. And in the case of our nation, some people are actually grinding metal off the wing spars, either because they think they're entitled to it or sometimes just for the pure hell of it.
And each cut weakens the structure just a bit more.
You warn the metal-thieves that they're weakening the wings, but they smirk and say "Nonsense--this thing was designed to be way stronger than it had to be, so it won't hurt if we take just a little metal out." And since you can't kill 'em, all you can do is try to explain that the design margin is finite, and that if they keep grinding on the wing spars, at some point the margin will be cut to zero
and the structure will fail.
Inevitably, they all respond the same: with a puzzled look that says they have no earthly idea what you mean. And that they're not interested in learning.
America was beautifully designed--the Founders knew human nature very well, and tried to design a framework that would protect us from bad leaders. And the country has been carefully built over the better part of 130 years or so, by the hard work of millions of dedicated, honest, moral Americans. But starting around 1970 or so the number of people living off others or actively trying to destroy the country started to rise dramatically.
Gradually others, not firmly in either camp but taking their cues from politicians and media, began to see that their friends who blew off school and didn't seem to keep a job very long were still managing to have a ton of fun and live pretty comfortably. They started to realize that one didn't have to work hard and have self-discipline to have a fine time--helped by food stamps, welfare and low-cost public housing.
Why bother working hard if you don't have to?
The number of kids born to never-married moms skyrocketed. I'm not concerned about the morality of that issue but the practical effects were and are devastating: Most teenage boys without a father in the home grow up absolutely self-centered and without any sort of moral compass. Very few single moms have both the willpower and enough physical strength to make their kids do the right thing.
Prime-time network television shows in the '80s had story-lines in which their female stars gave birth outside of marriage, removing whatever small reservations about that may have remained. Only a few in flyover country found this unsettling, and they were quickly ridiculed by the media.
If you're an adult I assume you've seen the numbers for unmarried births to U.S. women.
Take a guess.
In 2011, for the entire population, 40.7% of all births were to single women. But there's a big difference in races: 32.3% of births to white women, versus 63.7% of births to blacks. (Source, p.9)
In many big cities 80% of black births are to single women. But everyone in government, the media and elite circles tries to pretend these numbers have no effect on...anything.
of these kids--not all by any means, but most--will never have enough education--and more important, will never have the self-discipline, habit patterns or desire--to hold down any job above entry-level. In effect they will be permanent members of the underclass. And they'll vote Democrat, since Democrats will promise to increase government handouts while they'll hear that Republicans are trying to cut 'em.
For the last 40 years or so we've been living on the "design margin" provided by the Founders and those who came before us. But each year some of that margin is nibbled away, mostly by politicians and their dumb, vote-buying programs. At some point we won't have enough margin left to carry the real load.
Even today we no longer have the political will to rein in even such a non-power as Iran. Instead Obama and Kerry and Hillary pose and posture and yammer about having reached an agreement with that country under which it will abandon its quest for the atomic bomb--while the Iranian leaders laugh and openly go on TV to say they agreed to no such thing.
Not only do we have no power on the world scene, the American people no longer seem to even want
to have any power. Far too many Americans have eaten our seed corn and forgotten how it was planted.
Fortunately it's a big country, and there are still lots of people who value ethics and are accustomed to work, so the arc to impact will take many years yet. Hopefully that will be some comfort.
Unless you have kids, of course.