Recently Fox News’ Megyn Kelly made headlines by interviewing Bill Ayers, one of the many controversial figures from Barack Obama’s past. Ayers is a former member of the Weather Underground Organization who, even at the ripe, wise age of 70 offers no apologies for his participation in bombings and other acts of domestic terrorism during the mercurial decade of the 1960s.
During a debate segment of the interview, Ayers was candid in stating that he is “not proud to be an American,” and that he does not believe in the notion of American exceptionalism. Ayers represents the typical left wing extremist who seems to live for the purpose of trashing the country, (e.g., we are imperialist, self-centered hypocrites who regularly kill people for evil purposes.) It was apparent from the segment that Kelly was portraying Ayers as a left-wing nut job and that she felt she really drove the point home by obtaining these particular admissions from Ayers.
While I have no doubt that Bill Ayers is indeed a left-wing nut job (who should be in prison), I have to confess that I too am not proud to be an American. And it pains me to say that because, for most of my life, I have been. Sadly, what has happened to the once great USA over the past ten to fifteen years leaves little to be proud of. The reasons for my lack of pride have nothing to do with the points Ayers was making. The main reason I am so embarrassed by our country is the rapidity with which we have spiraled into rank financial irresponsibility at both the macro and micro levels.
Seriously, how can anyone with a straight face speak of “American exceptionalism” in a nation that is mired in a national debt of $17.5 TRILLION dollars? Have you ever truly thought about that number? Have you ever taken a brief moment to look at a national debt clock? If not, do so here, and you will be shocked to see how the debt amount increases by six figures every second or two. That is the measure of our shameful irresponsibility. And yet we still arrogantly assume that we are an exceptional world leader, one that stands head and shoulders above those inferior European nations like Greece, Italy, Portugal, and the other countries that suffered (and continue to suffer) through the infamous European debt crisis. Somehow we fail to understand that our own national debt is greater than the combined debts of all of these inferior European nations.
As bad as that fact is, we just continue to compound the problem as we demand more and more massive expenditures from an already bankrupt government. Armed with the destructive forces of emotion and political correctness, we have an entire political party that relies on promises of more and more and more spending. We listen as Nancy Pelosi emphasizes there is “nothing to cut” from a national budget that doles out food stamps to 45 million people and that continue to waste billions more on this train wreck known as the Affordable Care Act. We watch as our President requests billions of dollars of funding to assist with the sixty thousand illegal alien children who have been unlawfully dumped on our southern borders courtesy of foreign parents who know the children will be granted amnesty and gifted a lifetime of government entitlements. Liberal commentators like Kristen Powers indignantly proclaim how we as a nation have a responsibility to pay for these children, no matter how large the number becomes, just because they are children. When reminded that we already are $17.5 trillion in debt, Powers simply ignores the fact and returns to her theme: more and more money must be spent – regardless of whether we have the money at all.
Is this the stuff of responsible government? I’m sorry, but I can’t take pride in a country that caters to this level of mindlessness. We should be leading by positive example; instead, we lead the world in irresponsibility. It just gets worse as the legions of people who receive free cell phones, free food, subsidized housing, and free health care come to demand more and more. I watch in amazement as Sandra Fluke, a young woman who has just completed school and accomplished nothing professionally, commences a California Senate campaign. Her credentials? She whined on a national stage about the unjustness of not receiving free “contraceptive care.”
One of Benjamin Franklin’s many brilliant quotes was the following: “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Little did we know if would take only a few hundred years for us to see that statement prove so prescient. Make no mistake – this is exactly what is happening here as prodigious numbers of people vote for incompetent leaders for no reason other than the promise of continued, elevated entitlement spending.
Equally appalling is that we see the same fiscal irresponsibility modeled by our citizens. Did you know, for example, that the average American family carries $38,000.00 in consumer debt? That the same average family lacks so much as $1,000.00 in savings? You wouldn’t know it from taking a walk down the street, where we see oversized SUVs, most occupied by a single person, dominating the roads. We have millions of people approaching retirement with virtually nothing saved, counting instead to survive on a social security system that is already irreparably over its head.
No, I am not proud to be a citizen of this culture. I don’t see our country as an exceptional one – at least not in a positive sense. I fear it will not become one again in my lifetime, and it certainly will not if we do not escape these miry depths of over-indulgence, fiscal irresponsibility, and out of control entitlement spending and mentalities. Until we remove our heads from the sand and reverse the destructive storm of political correctness that insulates our leaders who make these destructive policy choices, we will, as Franklin predicted, see the end of our Republic.