Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith, often considered as the founder of modern economics, meant that it would take a great deal of foolishness and ineptitude by leaders to take down a powerful, prosperous country.
In a recent article, Victor Davis Hanson submits, are we sure there is still much ruin left in the United States? In American Greatness, VDH writes on
- the U.S.’s collective debt ($31 trillion)
- our politicized, recruit-deficient military
- a corrupt, discredited FBI
- the breakdown of affordable supplies from food and fuel to baby formula and antibiotics
- the erosion of meritocracy and competence
Mr. Hanson Asks, Why?
- Why do our bridges take decades to build rather than a few years?
- Why are train tracks not laid after a decade of “planning.”
- Why can you drive down a once brilliantly engineered but now crammed and dangerous road is to revisit the “Road Warrior” of film.
- Why are Sam Bankman-Fried and Elizabeth Holmes the apt characters of our age.
Destroying the Integrity of Elections
An imploded FBI has become a “Third World retrieval and investigatory service for the Democratic Party. Its last four directors either have lied, misled, or pleaded amnesia while under oath.”
In 2016, the bureau with the Democratic National Committee sought to destroy the integrity of an election by fabricating a Russian collusion hoax. Its continuance and coverup ultimately required FBI agents and lawyers to alter legal documents, to lie under oath, to destroy subpoenaed phone data, and to outsource illegal suppression of First Amendment rights to Silicon Valley contractors.
The nation now fears there isn’t anything the FBI might not do.
The Big Guy (Mr. 10 Percent)
Joe Biden’s name and access—sums for the most part hidden and likely not completely taxed. We all know it is true, and we all know the FBI and Department of Justice know it is true, and we know further that the truth means nothing.
Once-Hallowed Election Day Destroyed
Not so long ago, 70-80 percent of the electorate took the trouble of voting under transparent protocols. We replaced it in most states with 60-70 percent of the votes without audit and the product of vote harvesting and curing.
Our generation, in just a couple of years, destroyed Election Day voting and Election Night counting.
The New Medievalism
The American middle class is shrinking, if not insidiously sliding into indebted peasantry. Westerners are regressing and by design, now deciding daily whether to top up the tank, turn up the heat, or buy beef.
In place of knightly penances and chivalric oaths, our elite takes Bankman-Fried-like vows to “fight climate change,” support “transitioning,” and ensure “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” But like their Medieval brethren, they do so only by first enhancing, not endangering, their own careers.
We are approaching an historic 50 million residents who were not born in the United States, and of various legal and illegal statuses. In a sane world, we might survive the challenge—if newcomers had all come legally, learned the customs and language of their desired new home, were audited and queued by some logical meritocratic process, and were quickly assimilated and integrated by a confident host population that assumed any who wished to live in America surely desired help in becoming an American and felt gratitude to their hosts.
The chaos is by design, continues VDH. Legal immigrants waiting in line are looked upon as fools. Meanwhile, “illegal aliens and residents instead quickly absorb three messages: from the U.S.:
- Illegal residents will often be treated better than American citizens, at least in terms of lax law enforcement, various legal exemptions and amnesties, and unaudited entitlements.
- Many will soon learn they can assume immediate moral claims against the majority population of their new home, who can be seen as racist oppressors and obligated to offer reparatory concessions in terms of hiring, admissions, and entitlements.
- Too many will quickly learn, Ilhan Omar-style, to harbor a quiet derision for their benefactors. Their contempt is not due to Americans’ dearth of magnanimity and generosity, much less to “systemic racism.” Instead, their American hosts are silently assumed to be naïve, timid, overly solicitous, malleable, easily manipulated, rolled, and conned—especially when it is understood that if the roles were reversed and the entrants were the hosts, they would have a different notion of borders.
VDH wondered recently why were there two long lines at his nearby Home Depot? The other six check-out lines were closed.
Why? When asked the clerk whispered that the theft rate is high in the store and that from time to time it shuts down various exits to limit stealing or perhaps to confuse calculating thieves.
I added that I had learned that almost any large item in a box purchased at Home Depot had to be first opened to ensure that key parts like knobs, wires, and screws had not been ripped off.
Smash & Grab Robberies and Unapologetic Looting
At a local Walmart, its 24-hour service was closed. Why? “Due to unsustainable looting during the early morning hours.”
Exemptions given thefts under $950 in some states may be the culprit. Others cite the post-George Floyd riots and the climate of unpunished street criminality. Maybe years of mask-wearing made us forget who normally had used masks and for what reasons.
Weaponized activist district attorneys and virtue-signaling mayors also be culprits to the cause, but “a once famously lawful America has become a veritable land of thieves,” laments Mr. Hanson.
The criminal is all but exempt.
And the middle class and poor suffer as a result from poor services, higher prices, reduced hours, and fewer stores.
America has seen a lot of cultural revolutions, “but never one that was so singularly focused on razing the foundations of America—until now.”
Yes, there is a lot of ruin in great nations. But even America is by now running low on it.
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