What with the steady coarsening of our culture, the generations-long America-bashing, liberal indoctrination occurring at all levels of American education, the steady march toward socialism (including the formerly unthinkable current path to socialized medicine), the nationally suicidal but preventable level of entitlements, the accelerated expansion of the welfare state and the accompanying demonization of wealth, the wealthy and producers, the increasing racial and economic strife and the election and re-election of the extraordinarily leftist Barack Obama, we would be irrational not to be concerned about America's future.
But is the demise of great "empires" organically inevitable? Do the forces of success ultimately corrupt them internally and prevent their survival?
Personally, I don't believe that the American character has yet fundamentally changed or that our demise is inevitable. We have a choice, but we are, admittedly, approaching the tipping point beyond which we may be powerless to prevent our implosion.
Though too many able-bodied people are receiving government benefits, I believe that most people haven't given up on themselves and would prefer to be working. Though the administration is sending the signal that they are all victims, many are far from accepting it.
In response to Podhoretz's question, I do believe the situation with President Obama is unique -- or can be.
As my brother has opined with his Limbaugh theorem, Obama has been able to position himself as an outsider fighting the very failed policies he has implemented and thus to avoid personal and electoral accountability for them.
Interestingly, Obama's policies are decidedly unpopular with today's American people -- not merely those of decades ago. Though they re-elected him and continue to give him far more support than he deserves, it was his policies they rejected in the 2010 elections, when the GOP "shellacked" Democrats in the congressional races. Republicans also retained control of the House in 2012, despite Obama's re-election. And all indications are that Democrats are going to be thrashed again in 2014 -- precisely because of Obama's policies.
Notwithstanding many troubling signs in our culture, we are seeing evidence that the public rejects what Obama has been selling but just refuses to reject him.
So I believe there is reason for much hope, assuming the GOP can overcome its disunity, return to its core principles and navigate through the pitfalls of dealing with Obama's demagoguery on budget issues and the like between now and 2014 and then on to 2016 -- and providing we can avoid going all the way over the financial cliff with Obama's obscene spending and his virtual war on domestic energy, capitalism, producers and the entire economy.
Republicans need not panic or change their own character based on the erroneous assumption that Americans reject America's founding principles and conservative principles. They just need to inspire the nation's enthusiasm again by articulating their ideas as if they actually believe in them and as if they reject the liberal conclusion that we are destined for decline and permanent malaise.