Douglas MacArthur once said that, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." As it is with old soldiers, so it goes with nations. When you watch "end of the world" movies on TV, America may be overrun by zombies, hit by asteroids, destroyed by aliens, annihilated by a climate gone mad -- and so it may be. However, the history books teach another lesson. For the most part, great nations do not usually disappear; they become progressively weaker, more decadent, less flexible, and slowly, almost imperceptibly decline until some great event comes along that lays bare their newly vulnerable condition before the world. This tragedy has played out again and again on the world stage in Greece, the Roman Empire, Britain, the Soviet Union and in hundreds of lesser nations. Do you believe the United States is immune? We're not. People who study history know this. Conservatives know this. It's why we're concerned about,
1) Our national debt: We're already paying out far more money than we're taking in, our politicians don't have any sort of feasible plan to pay for what we've already spent, and there's no way we can possibly pay out all the money the government currently owes for entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Obamacare. Unless we change course dramatically, the United States could be headed towards the same sort of economic collapse that nations like Argentina and Post-WWI Germany experienced. Despite the very real danger, most of America's political elite seem to be completely unaware that THEY can't continue spending more money than WE have forever.
2) Weapons of mass destruction going off in American cities: It's ironic that so much of the world once lived in fear of a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union may have been an "evil empire," but at least the leaders were rational. Can we say the same about Pakistan? Maybe. For the moment. How about North Korea? Absolutely not. What about Iran? No way -- and if Iran gets nukes, another half dozen, barely functional Middle Eastern nations will soon follow it into the nuclear club.
We're rapidly moving into a world where unstable basket-case nations run by dictators and religious fanatics are going to be equipped with weapons capable of incinerating whole cities from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Soon, we could even have terrorists setting off nuclear bombs in American cities without the United States being able to identify who supplied them with the weapons. Incidentally, that can already be done with dirty bombs, chemical weapons, and biological weapons.
Yet, what's the reaction from America's Left and much of the world? A yawn and a shrug of the shoulders. Ask yourself whether terrorists could conceivably acquire nukes from a nation like North Korea or Iran. The answer is "Yes, they could." Ask yourself whether a group like Al-Qaeda would be ready, willing, and able to set those bombs off in American cities. Obviously, the answer to that is "yes." Now, imagine the world-shattering impact of nuclear bombs going off in New York, D.C., LA, and Chicago tomorrow. The human lives lost. The unimaginable financial cost. The millions of survivors, bodies burned and wasted with radiation sickness. Now, ask yourself if we're doing enough to make North Korea and Iran nuclear free. If your answer is "yes," re-read this paragraph again.
3) A cultural apocalypse: Every generation bemoans the sorry state of the generation following it. That's a constant across time, geography, and nations. For this reason, worries about the state of a culture often produce, "Oh, it's just another boy crying wolf" eye rolls. Therein lies the danger: In the fairy tale, a wolf DID eventually show up and eat the flock while people ignored the warnings. Except with our culture, there's not just a wolf.
Instead there is a plethora of different threats preying on the supports that keep our country upright. Not only is patriotism sneered at in many corners of the country, outright hatred of America is treated as a legitimate viewpoint on the Left. We've combined a historically massive influx of immigrants to our country with multiculturalism that encourages them not to assimilate into our culture. The sort of creeping Islamization that has newspapers too afraid to show cartoons of Muhammad and a triumphant mosque being built at Ground Zero are not allowed to be mentioned in polite company. We have a mainstream media and entertainment industry that glorifies hedonism, narcissism, and socialism while it demonizes Christianity, capitalism, and conservatism. Will any of those factors cripple the country? Maybe. Maybe not. But, what we can say with certainty is that all of those trends are potentially dangerous and none of them is good for the country.
4) The government as a parent: Our overweening government has usurped many of the responsibilities once taken care of by individuals and their families. From birth to death, our government has inserted itself into every part of our lives. It schools your children. It’s in charge of student loans. It handles your health care. Its regulations often determine whether your business survives or fails. If you're out of a job, the government pays the unemployment or the welfare. It takes care of the less fortunate. When you retire, it takes care of the Medicare and Social Security. If there's any part of your life you believe the government isn't impacting significantly, then you're either uninformed or the government just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.
Too few people ask the question, “What is this doing to us as a people?” As Elizabeth Scalia has said,
When nothing matters and you answer for nothing, you’re living the life of a child, and a nation of children cannot survive for very long.
5) Moral decay: Like cultural erosion, moral decay is another of those oft diagnosed sicknesses that usually turn out to be less of a threat than we might imagine. That's not only because people tend to romanticize the past, but because we often fear change. Yet, moral threats are not a small issue.
Despite the fact that just about every study imaginable shows children tend to do better in two parent homes, we've had an explosion of children born out of wedlock and divorce. That has a lot to do with the fact that we have more people locked up in prisons than any other nation in the world. It's also why more than 50 million American children have been slaughtered in abortion mills, a number that's comparable not just to the Holocaust, but to the total number of people who were wiped out in WWII. Yet, many people see no danger in gay marriage, no peril in denigrating Christianity, and no cause for alarm in declining moral values. This is a terrible mistake because if America ever ceases to be a good nation, its days as a great nation will be numbered.
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