In the new century, we have fought our two longest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are the results worth the lost blood and treasure?
Or are the results of our interventions the reasons why Americans want to stay out of Syria and Ukraine?
Perhaps the largest of all government programs is education.
Yet despite the trillions of dollars plunged into public education at the local, state and federal levels from the Great Society to No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, U.S. test scores continue to plummet in international competition and the gap between black and Hispanic and Asian and white continues to persist.
To bring up test scores, we have seen the dumbing down of tests and rampant cheating by principals and teachers erasing and changing answers for students in school districts including D.C. and Atlanta.
Corrupt conduct by those charged with instructing America's children in the moral superiority of democratic government.
Is not the charter school movement a vote of no confidence in a school system that was once the pride of the nation?
The sub-prime mortgage scandal, which almost plunged us into a second Great Depression, was a product of Big Government.
And despite five trillion in federal deficits under Obama, and a Fed policy of pumping endless trillions into the banks, U.S. growth in the first quarter flatlined, and has been anemic for years.
The bankruptcy of Detroit, the downgrades of public debt in Illinois, Puerto Rico and New Jersey -- were they not all caused by the political class that runs state governments?
Yes, there are well-run VA hospitals, outstanding public schools, and state and local governments that are magnets for business. And government has accomplished goals in which all of us take pride.
NASA put our astronauts on the moon. After Pearl Harbor, Washington led America to victory in less than four years. But lately government's failures seem to outnumber its successes.
Republicans rightly view with alarm demographic trends showing their core constituencies shrinking and the Democrats' rising.
But Democrats should also take heed. For declining confidence in government's ability to solve America's problems, which is likely to be translated into Republican gains in Congress this year, represents a declining faith in the Democratic idea that government is the answer.
In the last century, communism was The God That Failed.
It should be a cause for concern that in the new century the god that appears to be failing is American democracy.