Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Belief in myself as an optimist is being challenged by current events. Given what we are witnessing, I am becoming pessimistic about the future of America. Here are five reasons.
The most important “American” value is the primacy of individual rights over unlimited governmental power. No other human society has enjoyed as its core value the protection of individual rights. When the Founding Fathers affirmed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” they created a republic designed to serve the individual and not the other way around. Political freedom, said F.A. Hayek in The Road to Serfdom, signifies “freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men.” Hayek was describing the dangers of the Deep State, the huge unelected bureaucracy that is insinuating itself into every facet of our lives.
Starting with Obama, Democrats have been undermining the Bill of Rights. “Every single one of [Obama’s] initiatives,” said American Thinker, was “directed at increasing government control in every area, with a corresponding decrease in individual liberty.” Nowhere has this been more evident than in the overreaching mandates imposed on the American public in the name of combatting the coronavirus. The Left’s ultimate objective is socialism/communism, where the government controls everything. The consequence will be economic collapse on the scale of Venezuela. If they get away with this, say goodbye to the nation we all used to know and love.
Next, we are experiencing a concerted assault on free speech, from which all our rights emanate. Free speech is regarded by the Left as an outdated concept. The cancer known as political correctness is a way of stifling free expression in favor of socially controlled thought. As liberals take over our colleges and universities, they are indoctrinating young people to believe that conservative ideas amount to hate speech and should be suppressed. The result is that today’s students are demanding limitations to free expression. In a poll of 800 undergraduates, 51 percent favored codes limiting free speech on campus. 30 percent said the First Amendment is outdated. Where do we go from here? Free speech is being replaced with the thought police, political correctness, and the cancel culture—all of it enforced by the woke crowd.
Number three is the woke revolution that is creating the worst internal division since the Civil War. The Civil Rights Revolution of half a century ago ended the oppression of African-Americans. Martin Luther King’s dream of people being judged by their character instead of the color of their skin became a reality. In the blink of an eye, all of that has been reversed as racism and segregation are being reintroduced into American life under the aegis of identity politics. This time it is white Americans who are being marginalized. Thanks to the adoption of critical race theory in our schools, children are being brainwashed to believe that that all blacks are oppressed and all whites are oppressors. White kids are taught that they should be ashamed of their race. In other words, we have regressed to a point where people once again are being judged by the color of their skin.
All “white” values are being attacked, including meritocracy, the work ethic, and even mathematics—which has been labeled racist. The latest symptom of this sickness is the statement by Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago that she will not grant interviews to white reporters. Can America survive this insanity? The Left’s drive for “equity” means that equality of opportunity is no longer good enough. Instead, the goal is equality of outcome, which can never be accomplished without control by a coercive centralized authority. “The destruction of freedom,” said James Peron in Exploding Population Myths, “is the only method for implementing equality of results.”
Number four on my list is the destruction of our borders. Illegal immigration poses an existential threat to the nation. Both parties in Congress have failed to acknowledge the threat, let alone deal with it. When millions of aliens are permitted to enter the U.S. illegally, and sanctuary cities and states can deliberately disregard federal statutes, the rule of law becomes a thing of the past and we no longer have a country. The economic costs of taking in 100 million or 300 million or more “refugees” would tear us apart. The social costs of deadly drugs, violent criminals, and terrorists constitute the worst public safety issue since World War II. But the most dangerous likely results of open borders are the destruction of the two-party system and the forced implementation of socialism by the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Number five is in some ways the worst. We are experiencing a complete breakdown of civil order. In 2020, more than 500 violent protests resulted in the trashing of American cities and towns. Democratic Party mayors and governors abdicated their responsibility to preserve order and, in some cases, supported the rioters, looters, and arsonists. Ironically, Democrats are pressing for an investigation of the January 6 assault on the Capitol instead of looking into the lives lost and billions in damages resulting from literally hundreds of riots. Murder, arson, and looting are being referred to by Democrats as nothing more than “peaceful protests.” Our cities may never recover from the carnage. In 2022, you may not be able to leave your house without an armed guard.
Sadly, I have predicted massive civil unrest ever since I witnessed the 1960s riots in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. I knew if it could happen then, it could happen again at the drop of a hat. In 2020, the hat dropped. How can we be optimistic for the future? With another three and a half years of Biden/Harris, it doesn’t look promising.
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