What The H— Is Wrong With America? – Part Onewebdev
Click Here For Part Two
I’ve been angry for a while now.
When I turned 50, I took pause and reflected on my life, presuming that I was at the halfway point (yes, I intend to live to see 100).
I thought about my childhood in the 60’s and early 70’s.
I reminisced my high school years and realized that my topsy-turvy life to that point had pretty well mirrored the turbulence of the era.
I remembered my fear of possibly being drafted into the Vietnam Conflict (I missed it by several years, but the possibility still seemed very real at the age of 15) and my full participation in the Cold War aboard a nuclear submarine shadowing Soviet ships of war.
Shortly after my military discharge, I became painfully aware of the poor state of my country and just how much had been lost, and I dedicated the balance of my life to the restoration of the America given us by her founders.
But then came 9/11 and the torrent of bad choices made by the American citizenry and its political leaders following that tragedy. The Patriot Act, the continuation of wars that we could never hope to win with the adopted management policies—that were and still are being used—the gargantuan unjustified economic bailouts and the rapid decline of the US dollar by the alarming leadership of the Federal Reserve, and the unabashed implementation of socialized medicine by all three branches of the federal government destroying any hope of restoring liberty and personal responsibility.
So by the beginning of 2011, I was disgusted with our “stage four” situation and began contemplating what could be done about it. Obviously, there was no political party to look to, and political activism by concerned citizens was having no more real impact than it had during the previous two decades.
By 2013, the pain I was feeling in my heart about the decline of my country began to turn to indignation towards those responsible for leading my country down this slippery slope. Short of building our college and impacting a few hundred students a year, for which I still feel very determined, I felt powerless regarding the country at large until fate brought a few outstanding individuals into my life that sparked some real creativity, turing my indignation into a steady slow fury, and leading to my current process of thinking. What follows is that process.
Considered one of the ten most influential books in the United States, Man’s Search for Meaning, has sold over 10 million copies and has been translated into 24 languages.
In this pivotal volume, Viktor Frankl chronicles his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II.
At one point he states that freedom is a dangerous and destructive force unless it is tempered or harnessed by personal responsibility.
Think of it—without an active, personal sense of responsibility, the almost proprietary concept of American freedom could actually be a destructive force that does harm and diminishes human dignity.
The message of this series of posts is—freedom—political, economic, religious, gender, and racial.
My goal is to give you a lot to think about, and to motivate you to make some changes in your current approach to financial and political autonomy.
This is not another rant about politics, political parties, or Washington discord; as much as those topics might warrant another hearing.
I respect and honor all actively involved citizens regardless their political leanings because the greatest act of citizenship and the strongest check on abusive government is the actively involved citizen.
I do not see others with different political views from mine as the problem. The problem—are those who do nothing.
This post is about the attack on the American family and the millions who allow it to happen by default. I am choosing the word “attack” because whether is it intentional or not, the end result of American politics today is the serious assault on small business owners and the American family. And the majority of the country is watching it happen without lifting a finger. Few would disagree when I say that the fault is our adulterated political system and its political parties.
Speaking of political parties—which party is safeguarding the sanctity and financial stability of the family? Which party?
Neither. Unless you see more and more government subsidy as the right solution.
Which party puts the interests of our children ahead of their own power struggles?
Neither. In fact, both republicans and democrats are heavily promoting an educational system that seems more interested in mining student and family data than preparing our children for successful, secure, and happy futures.
Both parties continue to pass mountains of law that make it harder and harder to provide an honest family living. As true as this is, it could not be happening if the majority of Americans took a stand against it.
So why are most Americans standing idly by watching the destruction of our once most beloved nation? That is the question that I want to take a few posts to explore.
America is sick. The test results are back and they confirm that our beloved nation is suffering from a potentially fatal illness called Enervation. Enervation is the lack of desire or the inability to do those things that must be done to protect ourselves and our families from corporate and/or governmental abuse.
To give you an example, let’s talk about the adoption of Universal Health Care! Or Obamacare! Or The Affordable Healthcare Act! Whatever you want to call it.
There are two clear opinions. You either love it or you hate it.
But that’s not the problem.
The problem is that in a democratic society like ours, these kinds of things should be part of the daily discourse. Something this divisive should stimulate tons of adult dialogue, sit-ins, shaved heads, local political debates, protests…And on both sides of the aisle.
Where is the heated and loyal support in favor of such a social remedy? Where are the avid public supporters of Universal Health Care? On the other hand, where is the public outrage against such a measure? Where are the protests? Those against this law should not rest until it has been abolished. Those in favor should stay vigilant against it being over turned.
The illness of Enervation from which America suffers is a lack of political will. Political will or political autonomy is a by-product of personal responsibility. When we cease to be personally responsible for our surroundings and our communities—our reality, we lose power to maintain or change it.
But how do we lose our sense of personal responsibility? The loss of personal responsibility occurs when we lose our financial autonomy. How does this happen? How do the citizens of a nation with the greatest system of government and the most freedoms of any nation on earth, become so apathetic?
To answer this I want to share some predictions from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy In America. In the 1830’s during his first American tour, Tocqueville, a French aristocrat and jurist said that if Americans did not vigilantly guard their freedoms through personal responsibility, they would lose them
[Americans] are constantly excited by two conflicting passions: they want to be led, and they wish to remain free.
As they cannot destroy either the one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once.
They devise a sole, tutelary [guardian], and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people.
They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage [guardianship] by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians.
In other words, because Americans wanted to avoid personal responsibility, Tocqueville predicted that they would create governmental institutions that would protect them from cradle to grave. But because they wished to remain free, they would naively believe that by retaining the power of suffrage they could control the very individuals who would keep them in this enervative state.
Tocqueville uses the term “guardian” several times, so I looked it up to get a better perspective:
A person lawfully invested with the power, and charged with the duty, of taking care of a person and managing the property and rights of another person, who for defect of age, understanding, or self-control, is considered incapable of administering his own affairs. – Black’s law Dictionary, 6th edition
According to Tocqueville over 170 years ago, government dependence leads to the eventual need for 100% federal guardianship including health care to housing to food to personal finances. When Financial Autonomy is gone, our sense of personal responsibility weakens and shrivels. Shrinking personal responsibility will always lead to a lack of political will.
Since 87% of all American hate their jobs and the vast majority are experts at living Clason’s law (living above one’s income), the average American finds themselves in financial “survival mode” and feels little hope of securing the American Dream of Financial Autonomy. As they cannot succeed at providing properly for themselves, they cannot even conceive of how to help others or the nation at large.
Watch for part 2
Seems like a chicken egg problem. People, I included, need to know what to do, we need to be inspired to do it and have the discipline and support to pull it off. We also need the greater vision of what we are doing it all for. The USA is losing that vision if it is not already lost, but without the “what to do” we may not understand or desire the vision.
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