In time, we’ll learn how our country’s political foibles play out. Will the United States remain a recognizable semblance of the greatness it once possessed, or not? Measured from when we were at our peak to where we are now, there’s a Grand Canyon of difference.
The Erosion of American Influence:
There was a time when we led the world into the greatest prosperity ever achieved. American productivity and genius had the world marveling and trying to imitate everything from our Arts, Sciences, and Culture are considered to be Grand Canyon of Difference. Whether I worked in Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Senegal, Israel, Europe, or wherever, all you had to do to see and feel America’s influence was to read everyone’s T-shirts or listen to their music. Walk down any foreign street, and there would be a Coke sign or a Kentucky Fried Chicken eatery. America’s influence was everywhere. People wanted what we had. People told me they wanted to be Americans. Many still do because they implicitly understand what native-born Americans either no longer believe or never learned from their pampered daily lives.
American Generosity and Its Complicated Legacy:
American generosity is legendary. We ship millions of tons of free food and grain annually. I remember proudly seeing warehouses full of 200-pound sacks of wheat emblazoned with the “A gift from the American People” logo. Sometimes, in the 90s, I saw those bags, sometimes relabeled with a different label, thanking some dictator or warlord for his beneficence. America knew of this practice but closed its eyes to reality. Why? That grain was now either sold when it was to have been free, or it was withheld to punish enemies or to starve populations into submission. We knew, and yet we allow such hypocrisy.
No nation on Earth has been as generous but dammed simultaneously for that generosity. Why do our young people disbelieve that America’s support of those third-world nations kept many of them alive? How could this be?
Let’s try to understand how opinions are formed and promoted. Remember, any attempt to falsely influence public opinion falls under the broad topic of propaganda.
The Seeds of Skepticism: A Personal Journey of Distrust in Government and Global Organizations”
I remember being in the First Grade and being asked at Christmas to collect money for a United Nations agency called UNICEF, which was ostensibly to supply food for children in underdeveloped nations. My Dad showed me an article reporting that Cuba was trading our corn and grain to a third party to buy military vehicles. I immediately understood that I was being lied to. I began distrusting the Government and the UN, although I did not yet understand how the tool of propaganda could starve people to ensure loyalty to a central government. I did not understand how some could be so inhumane to other humans.
Sadly, I learned to distrust much of what my friends and their parents believed. That was how I came to understand groupthink. I turned in my donation box to my teacher and told her why. I can’t remember exactly how she took it, but not well. My Dad was pleased and bought me a subscription to Human Events, a well-known weekly conservative newspaper. My fight against lies and misinformation began at that young age.
Nurturing a Nation of Contradictions:
Our country has been filled with American haters for generations. The world’s intelligentsia came here, escaping places that either no longer wanted them or were actively trying to kill them. Think Franco’s Spain, Russian Pogroms, or Marxists of all stripes and persuasions coming to our welcoming shores with the intent to undermine our country. Our idle rich were sponsoring those who wished to turn our country into some revolutionary dictatorship like the Soviet Union or the PRC. The most productive and upward-moving country in the world, that freedom and Capitalism built, and coveted worldwide, was lost on those revolutionaries who came here.
How Capitalism and Freedom Pioneered a New Way of Life:
The American middle class was born in April 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York, where Westinghouse began selling the concept of a middle-class lifestyle. Although we didn’t create the idea of middle-class life, we became the world’s most outstanding example of what Capitalism and economic freedom had achieved. And this was without the oppressive hand of Government tinkering with Adam Smith’s masterwork…the Invisible Hand.
Today, America’s and the world’s middle class are under tremendous stress due to Government tinkering and Woke policies specifically intended to destroy the middle class. I pound my drum, warning everyone who will listen about the enemy within our educational system, run by socialist unions and Marxist sympathizers, excited at how much they’ve changed us so far.
Self-Interest and a Capitalist Approach to Prosperity:
American style Free Enterprise depends on a couple of things to work correctly. First is Self-Interest. Without that, there is no impetus to work harder than the next person whose only interest is his daily rice bowl. The second is a government that doesn’t believe it can create jobs and prosperity through the stroke of a pen but does believe in and relies on Capitalism to enlarge the pie for all.
Former President Obama’s Government said, “You didn’t build that!” Every free-thinking person should understand that Government creates nothing; it only consumes. Obama’s handlers tried to clean up this utterance by saying he was ‘inartful.’ Obama was never inartful. As someone who never worked in the private sector, he believes Government has all the answers, while conservatives believe in individual effort. There can be no reconciliation between these two philosophies.
About 25% of the employed work for the Government today, including local, state, and federal. This hyperlink shows the massive increase in government workers in the last ten years. (Accurate numbers are difficult to find because unknown additional millions of contracted workers work exclusively for the Government should be included in the count.) These individuals won’t bite the hand that feeds them, overwhelmingly voting for the continuance of existing policies and staffing levels that ensure they do better financially than the rest of us. Perhaps without realizing it, government workers of all stripes belong to the ‘elite class.’
A Grand Canyon of Difference: Navigating the Perils of Our Modern Society
There is almost no individual safety net that does not have an end date. Collective safety can only be found through understanding who and what is trying to kill us and then summoning the guts and determination our enemies don’t believe you can muster. Ultimately, we must return to our roots, as imperfect and unfair as you might have been told they are. Only in an empowered and energized America, organized around principles of self and family, can we once again become that unique beacon of hope and prosperity we used to be. Otherwise, think of us as little more than a dying carcass left to the scavengers. What then?
God Bless America.
Allan J. Feifer