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Every recent poll agrees, Americans see their quality of life deteriorating – perhaps for the first time in the history of the country.

I agree, too.

I’ve lived nearly 60 years in this country and have seen many changes – most of them bad.

An acquaintance who has lived half of the last 30 years outside the U.S. suggests his perspective on what’s happened in that time period affords more clarity.

“When things change for the worse gradually every day, the sneak-up-on-you effect comes into play,” he says. “But when one is away for five or six years at a time, the cumulative impact hits one right in the face.”

One question seldom asked by pollsters or pundits is: Who’s responsible for ruining America?

Let’s think about the social and political and moral changes that have shaken America and ask ourselves: Who did this? Who is killing America?

It’s a good topic for a book. But I’ll try to keep it lean and mean in this short commentary.

  • Education: Ask yourself if the schools are better or worse now than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that they are worse – perhaps even nearing a crisis point in terms of discipline, instilling basic learning skills, teaching the rudiments of reading, writing and math and even just keeping kids safe? Who did this to our kids? Has the intrusion of the federal government into what had been essentially local education before 1979 been a positive factor or negative? Has any good come from it at all?There are actually many destructive forces in American education – but government is the biggest. The near monopoly it holds on shaping the hearts and minds of future generations is downright scary. The symbiotic relationship government maintains with the teachers union is corrosive to the core. Test scores keep dropping, along with standards. America is producing more functional illiterates than at any time in its history. And don’t even get me started on academia – where the cost of higher education keeps rising and the benefits keep dropping. Today, for the first time, high school graduates earn as much as college graduates do. They just have less debt. Who ruined education in America? The government-progressive complex.
  • Media: Do you remember what television was like 50 years ago? It was entertainment geared to the entire family. You never had to blush or put your hand over your child’s eyes even through the 1960s and early 1970s. As one who worked in the press in the 1970s through the 1990s, I can tell you that, despite deep institutional problems that were emerging in the news media back then, the standards of professionalism were much higher than they are now. That is to say there were some standards. No longer. Watch MSNBC for 20 minutes and compare it in your own memory to Huntley-Brinkley. Who ruined the media? The government-progressive complex.
  • Economy: Do you know what a gallon of gasoline cost in 1965? If you don’t remember, you had better sit down: 31 cents. Do you know what it cost to heat a home or fire up an electrical plant back then? A lot less. Do you really have to ask yourself where America’s manufacturing base has gone? Do you really not understand where the jobs have gone? What good is a minimum wage law if you can’t get a job? And why are progressives in government always fixated on equalizing wages rather than maximizing them and rewarding hard work and entrepreneurship? You know who destroyed the economy. The government-progressive complex.

I could go on and on if I had the time and space. But you get the idea. Every aspect of American society is worse off today than 30, 40 or 50 years ago because of the government-progressive complex.

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But what is the government-progressive complex?

I’ve heard of the military-industrial complex, but what’s the government-progressive complex?

It’s far more powerful than the military-industrial complex ever was back in the time of Dwight Eisenhower. But it’s similar in nature.

So-called “progressives” see and use government as their vehicle for promoting and enforcing change in America – change from old standards, change from ways that were tried and true, change from things that worked, change from virtuous and good. Why? Because they believe in government as their one true god. Because they believe that people need to be herded like sheep. Because they believe they can bring about utopia if only people like them are in power. And, as a result, government grows and grows and grows over time to take on more of a god-like omnipotence every day.

So who killed the American Dream? You can’t blame conservatives. You can’t blame libertarians. You can’t blame decent, hard-working Americans who have remained true to our national character. You can’t blame constitutionalists. You can’t blame religious people. If you are thoughtful and sincere, you can only blame the government-progressive complex.

Now that you know it, watch for it in action. The only way to stop this monster is by recognizing it by name.

 

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