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The Simple Truth About Reversing America’s Current Death Spiral

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Reflecting in the aftermath of July 4th reminds us that the craziness sweeping the country is fundamentally out of national character and goes way beyond politics and endless election cycle madness. In fact, in all the areas critical to sustaining the viability and sovereignty of the U.S., the decline has been accelerating so fast that failure and collapse could take place in a matter of years, not decades—if the death spiral trends are not stopped and reversed. 


The four areas critical to the survival and viability of the U.S. (and any nation) are economic, military, political, and moral-cultural. And it turns out, the most important of these four is the moral and cultural dimension, which explains why our enemies are so focused on bringing total moral collapse to the culture that shapes and sustains America. 

Economically, the debt-based economy of the United States is now a house of cards. The U.S. had never experienced a trillion-dollar deficit until Obama’s first year in 2009. Trillion-dollar deficits continued for the remainder of his first term, and then the national deficit jumped to over $3 trillion in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic erupting in the last year of Trump’s term. The long-term annual growth rate of the U.S. economy as measured by GDP now averages about 2.1%, while the annual growth rate of U.S. national debt has been averaging about 8%. Those trends will result in the United States current debt burden of $32.35 trillion doubling to $64+ trillion in just nine years, while GDP will grow from the present $26.48 trillion to about $32 trillion. That means that today’s already alarming 122% debt-to-GDP ratio today would become a calamitous 200% ratio of debt-to-GDP. Keep in mind that a U.S. dollar/debt collapse can be triggered well before that  nine-year mark. 


Militarily, while the United States is engaged in proxy war with Russia through Ukraine, the unrestricted warfare against the U.S. by China is by far the greater threat. With the CCP’s statement of intention to invade or take over Taiwan, the odds of a two-front war with China and Russia are increasing by the week and may break out in a matter of months not years. The inability of the American military to win a two front war would mean defeat for the United States. 

Politically, the United States is more divided that it has been at any time since the Civil War. The inability to reign in the aforementioned government deficit spending is a clear sign of a morally bankrupt politics. Equally destructive, but more malicious are the political forces to weaponize our justice system and all the agencies of our federal government, deny Americans their First Amendment rights and delegitimize our nation through election irregularity. 

The Covid pandemic opened the door to an unprecedented violation of Americans’ constitutional rights and those violations accelerated in the years that followed 2020. This was manifest in FBI raids on people exercising their constitutional rights to protest and investigate vote fraud, and FBI attempts to silence parents pushing back against school boards imposing critical race theory and agendas to normalize homosexuality, gender confusion, and pornography with their children.  


And then there was the imprudent judicial decision to raid former President Trump’s residence, followed by alleged felony legal indictments over documents, which was yet another escalation of political war—revealing to the world that America has more in common now with banana republics than with its heritage and founding identity of a law and order-based constitutional republic.  

Now let’s consider how America’s fortune in these three critical areas can be transformed by revival from the fourth—the moral, spiritual, and cultural dimension.  

Economically, a moral people put the welfare of the next generation ahead of their own generation. That means reducing the national debt and the attendant “mortgage” to be borne by future generations. It means stewardship, downsizing government, and spending prioritization with a goal to end or privatize unnecessary and marginally effective programs. 

Our military decline is directly tied to moral failure which leads to  bad judgment. Our political and military leadership decision to make a hasty and reckless retreat from Afghanistan was demoralizing for our country, but particularly for U.S. military personnel. It was a betrayal of our allies which precipitated a loss of trust, while it empowered our enemies. But it did not end there. Top military generals have even stated that white patriotism in the military ranks should be weeded out, and Critical Race Theory training and diversity and inclusion training imposed. All of this has created confusion, resentment and division in the military rank and file. No wonder there are now record shortfalls in recruiting new cadets to all branches of the military. 


The answer to turning all of this around starts with aligning military leaders and policies with the singular and moral purpose of fighting and winning wars. 

The greatest power to heal the nation’s political division is the transcendent moral and spiritual power of God. Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of U.S. Forces in World War II, and the 34th U.S. President, viewed God as indispensable and once said that "Faith is the mightiest force that man has at his command. It impels human beings to greatness in thought and word and deed." Eisenhower also said, "Our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith…”  

America’s present death spiral from deficient judgment, corruption, and abuse of power in economic, military, and political matters can all be corrected by a broad-based moral, spiritual and cultural awakening. We need to invite God back into our culture by humbly acknowledging our mistakes and failure, a critical step which ignites the spark of the Divine. And that is the foundational source for healing and correcting the course in economic, military, and political matters—all of which are essential to America’s survival and success. 

Scott Powell is senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger-China. His recent book, Rediscovering America, was #1 new release in history for eight straight weeks (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1637581599). Reach him at scottp@discovery.org 



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