By Art Hyland
It feels like Fall. It looks like Fall. You know, that crisp morning air that fills our lungs and eyes.; the Falls we used to have, the little children lining up for school, the football games, the sense of a year ending, a new one around the corner. That too-rare great smell of leaf smoke. The anticipation of Halloween and Thanksgiving, later Christmas. It’s an American ritual of warm, inside holidays and magic enjoyment. Yet none of this registers with me this year.
This year is different.
Oh, football has begun, and the children are back at school all right (Chicago excepted), and I’ve noticed some color in the leaves.
Our nation is failing. Badly. Financially, we are broke and half its citizens don’t want to face it. Don’t want to think about it. Don’t want to believe it. They don’t know what to do other than habitually participate in the motions of Fall, unclear why this nightmare just doesn’t blow away with the old leaves. Millions are without work or the expectation of finding some, and don’t understand this rare form of Fall they have never before experienced. And if that’s not enough, an American ambassador and several staff members have been killed in an attack on our embassy in Libya. It’s just one more crisis that we just wish wasn’t happening.
Roughly half the nation, within the generations following our WWII victors, are truly spoiled. And the other half has been infected as well. We’ve all known we were spoiled for decades, but our collective, secret acknowledgement of that state allowed us to become ever more nicely mildewed. Knowing we were spoiled made it somehow acceptable. We reveled in the unconscious state we were reaping: the bounty of our ancestors, their hard work, their suffering, their wars won, their technological progresses achieved, the relative world peace we inherited. We have been on a multi-generational wave gifted by our predecessors, and it felt like it could keep going forever. Nine-eleven interrupted this state somewhat, but the nation absorbed that hit unlike previous foreign attacks in its history. In 1941 it meant all-out war, with all that that entailed. But the “conflicts” like Korea and Vietnam, and the War on Terror happened while America sailed on in business and politics. But conservatives and liberals reacted differently during this post-war period.
To those who somehow retained belief in the ideals of the Constitution during this period, i.e. conservatives, their excuse for being spoiled was their mantra: This is America; the United States of America; we have done and can do anything; America will succeed because it has succeeded. And this group went about building businesses and personal happiness, working in a fog of belief that the nation was able to run on cruise control. They shunned politics as easily as their fathers and grandfathers discarded their WWII military uniforms.
This attitude created a vacuum in politics, which was easily filled by those who were left. Which was mainly the Left. Mostly liberals were attracted to politics because it generally required little if any experience, little if any accomplishments, little if any history of success in anything but matters political, educational, environmental, or social. And it gave them access to power they could never have achieved in any other way. And, importantly, it gave them access to public money and worse, borrowing power, which produced undeserved authority with very little accountability.
If conservatives were living a private life of Riley, and most were, public-life liberals were living in a pre-paid Disneyland.
Their actions during these spoiled decades produced a build-up of government like none before in history. Although President Eisenhower had warned the nation about too much control by a Military-Industrial Complex, he couldn’t have anticipated an even larger Social-Environmental Complex that did grab control. His generation’s gift of relative peace produced a political power vacuum, filled as vacuums always are by others who will gladly take it.
During this time, much of our working nation became complacent (and/or ignorant) of Washington D.C., willing to ignore those who governed us and who gradually sapped the energy of a free, prosperous nation for their own purposes. The Tea Party movement, finally, showed the nation wasn’t entirely blind to this power usurpation as the 2010 electons proved, but even today the mainstream media considers that group insignificant or worse, enabling the rest of America to wallow in what Thomas Sowell described as “confident ignorance,” which he specifically ascribed to none other than Barack Obama.
Our current president is the climax of ten decades of erratic but continued federal power usurpation; and this president took it to its highest level. He promised to, “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Either his 2008 political converts didn’t understand what he said, or didn’t think that it meant what it turned out to be: where government controls the people. That’s the essence of his “transformation.” Barack Obama’s success can be said to be the pinnacle of narcissism, i.e. the ultimate spoiled state of mind. His policies were described decades ago by Friedrich Hayek in “The Fatal Conceit.”
Just look at what the Obama presidency created: Obamacare; Stimuluses for Government Sectors; EPA and Bureaucratic Regulatory Barricades to Capitalism; Debt Beyond the Solar System; Racial & Class Divides For Political Gain. All geared to profit the unearned at the expense of those who have earned. And all Big Government. Conceited, ill-informed, ignorant of history. And he used our and our offspring’s assets to do all the above, with help from an undisciplined congress, including too many Republicans, who failed to blunt this unconstitutional train when they had the chance (most recently with the debt limit compromise).
Some, not all, but enough presidents and congresses have steadily displaced our country’s assets with liabilities to where there are incredibly few choices left to keep this nation from falling into a financial abyss, a spiral where the world’s smaller and less enlightened nations have already entered.
That’s why this is a different Fall. The accrued political manipulations, decades in the making, have this 2012 Fall season culminated in a swarm like none before.
There’s not much time, and only one opportunity to alter this state.
This Fall the November elections dominate everything, sport, season or otherwise. If we don’t turn this nation around, if we don’t stop the hemorrhaging, if we don’t return the federal government to its limited Constitutional role, we are truly kissing Good Bye all the Falls, Winters, Springs and Summers of our dreams and memories.
This nation’s federal government–which is spending multiple trillions of dollars annually- -including over 1 trillion more than we even have- – has operated without any budget for over three years. That is an indefensible act, but it has the strange twist of having been best described by the mainstream media as “Meh.” Who cares? It’s not important. Better we focus on statements made by a candidate for Senate in Missouri. Or on a shooting where race can be immediately elevated as its cause. Or on a thousand other singular events in a nation of 370 million inhabitants where the odd occurrence is thrust front and center as the highest priority of any given day. We are being told by a feckless media to believe that temporary events trump all others; that trends need only be daily observances. Which relegates the truly critical stuff beneath the leaf pile, ignored and molding.
The leaves and freedoms of this nation are falling in great numbers, but this administration couldn’t care less; there’s an election to work on. Barack Obama and his legion of bureaucrats and social engineers can only see the old branches of our citizen-trees with an expectation there will be new leaves where the old ones came from, ever producing, inexhaustible, willing and able to provide, in order to feed a government this administration adores well above every one and every thing, including God. America’s citizens are just a means to the end: Government is all. Government is everything. And the Government built it: the trees, the wealth, the nation. “It’s the Godernment, Stupid”, is the Democrats’ slogan adopted for this election, according to this president and his secular minions within his worshiping party.
What a revealing duo these words are when comparing the two party platforms, one for inclusion, the other for its absence. Especially for what these words have in their spiritual, historic, and cultural significance. Inserting these words as an after-thought doesn’t alter the intentional act of their omission in the first place. Listening to the Democrat convention floor when the amended wording was being proposed, you know they never wanted them. So, the president and his party have turned their backs on the very essence of the United States.
Our Constitution declares that the rights we have been granted as individuals, as citizens, come from God, not the government. And that the federal government itself is only a tool of its citizens, limited specifically to the powers granted it. These are the leaves of the tree of America we are fighting for this election, this season. So that one day we can return to loving a Fall where leaves, children and football can return to our consciousness.
Vote like it’s the last chance a free people have. For it is.