Along with the rest of America – well, at least the folks who aren’t slack-jawed by Hollywood’s entertainment drivel – I’ve become more and more concerned about the direction our nation is heading. We have lost the motivation and vision that originally defined what made us great and become a nation of takers seeking handouts and freebies from an increasingly socialist government.

This decline is especially poignant as my husband and I prepare to launch our first child into the world as a young adult. Like any “growly bear” mother, I worry about her safety. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about her character, work ethic, or faith.

The decline of America my children will face can be illustrated by two particular concerns: education and entitlements.

Regarding schools, the U.S. has managed to do the most amazing thing. We once had the greatest educational system on the planet, a system that taught even the poorest among us and which brought children to levels that far surpassed many college graduates today. Consider the one-room schoolhouses of pioneering days, which taught students how to be literate, critical thinkers who then built America into a world power of agriculture, technology, medicine and science.

But once the federal government got its grimy paws involved, test scores plunged and immorality not only increased but was actively celebrated. Schools no longer were answerable to parents, either in matters of curricula or discipline. If a parent complained, he was marginalized and told he was the “only one” to have an issue. Bullies were rewarded, peer pressure became the driving behavioral force, discipline became nonexistent, and academic excellence went down the toilet. What an accomplishment!

Proof? Employers are having a hard time filling vacancies in their businesses because graduates are too ignorant to read, write and speak in an educated and civilized manner. William Ellet, an adjunct professor teaching writing at Brandeis International Business School, notes, “Recruiters and companies are saying, ‘Send us a writing sample, and if you don’t meet our standards for communication, we are not hiring you.'”

(To be fair, many parents worked hand-in-glove with this decline, unquestioningly turning over their children to the schools to raise and then browbeating teachers when Johnny failed his math test because he didn’t study. The blame runs both ways.)

I know of no other country in the civilized world – with the exception of despotic regimes – where education has been so actively and deliberately dumbed down and which seems to take pride in the production of stupid, uneducated, unaware and ignorant citizenry.

Entitlements in all their many forms are another factor that is forcing America toward disaster. Our government actively encourages, requires, or even tricks what were once a proud and independent people into taking food stamps and other forms of welfare. Entitlements do nothing more than train people to be powerless, lazy, corrupt and to take no responsibility whatever for their own behavior.

Obamacare, of course, is the most recent and greatest entitlement of all. The latest proof of this is an advertisement so humiliating, so disgusting and so repellent that at first I thought it HAD to be a joke.

I refer to the advertising series put out by Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now campaign. The vast majority of these ads feature 20-something crowds doing juvenile, dangerous, or otherwise irresponsible things … because, what the heck, it’s not like they have to pay for the results. Obamacare will do that for them. Thanks Obamacare!

An especially telling and revolting ad depicts a couple named Susie and Nate who are “hot to trot.” Susie is gloating, Nate is smirking. The ad copy says, “OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers. I got insurance. Now you can too. Thanks Obamacare!”

A tiny asterisk at the bottom of the ad reminds us, “The Pill doesn’t protect you from STDs, condoms and common sense do that.”

Um, common sense? Where is the common sense in this scenario? Where is the “common sense” in rutting with strangers?

Now think about it. Does this advertisement paint America in a positive light? Does it show the world that America is a nation of self-controlled, responsible and ethical people? Of course not. Instead we appear as immoral, shallow buffoons who can be “hot to trot” because the government pays for our irresponsible sex lives. Whoo-hoo!

Which begs the question, who thought of these ads? What brilliant advertising manager concluded that appealing to a woman’s Inner Slut was somehow ennobling and dignified? Is this what’s supposed to convince us that Obamacare is something that will raise America to additional greatness?

Our enemies look at things like this and laugh at us. They recognize rot from within when they see it.

Let’s face it: America is becoming the laughingstock of the world. It’s not just our government and our politicians that are earning the disdain of other nations; it’s also our personal behaviors, attitudes and ethics (or lack thereof). When I saw that advertisement, my face burned with the humiliation that this – THIS – now represents America.

We have become the subject of scorn on the international scene. We are viewed as nothing more than overweight lazy welfare bums who stare into their tiny smartphone screens while walking into walls or ditches. We are seen as irresponsible sex addicts whose appetite for hookups results in millions of unwanted children, abortions and cases of disease. We are perceived as uneducated illiterate morons whose greatest intellectual pleasure comes from viewing “Dancing With the Stars” or other mindless drivel.

The sad part is, the rest of the world doesn’t see the pockets of greatness that linger in America. They’re not aware of the patriotic, hardworking citizens who quietly and without fuss keep our services and resources reliable and available. They don’t meet the children (often educated at home or in private schools) who are literate, polite, hard-working and responsible.

Why not? Because highlighting these people would shame the degenerate, unsettle the immoral and embarrass the ignorant. Instead the “hot to trot” sluts are endorsed and celebrated. No wonder we’re a laughingstock.

How can we recover America’s greatness? How can we reverse the course of destruction? I’m all ears.

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