Survey after survey has repeatedly shown that a significant majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, on the precipice of a great decline, poised to be a dominant superpower no more, should things continue as they have been.
In other words, a lot of people think we’re going to hell in a handbasket.
Former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson wholeheartedly agrees with that sentiment and recently wrote an op-ed for the Independent Journal Review on the matter.
Carson pointed to three major indicators of a great nation in decline as seen throughout history, and those all-important signals which must not be missed are “fiscal irresponsibility, lack of focus on important issues and the acceptance of corruption at the highest political levels.”
He began by pointing to the astronomical $20 trillion that has been accumulated in national debt, putting it into perspective by explaining that even if the government paid $1 billion per week toward the debt, it would still take roughly 400 years to pay it off. That’s if nothing more were added to it, an impossibility in our current situation.
Referencing the similar economic downfalls of “17th century Spain, 18th century France, ancient Rome and many other places,” Carson noted that, as usual, there was not so much a problem with a lack of money for the government to spend as there was an insatiable appetite for spending more and more taxpayer money.
Carson also wrote about “taking our eye off the ball,” in essence spending too much time and attention focusing on issues that, in the larger scheme of things, are simply not as important to the ultimate survival of this country.
Using the example of a patient who had a broken leg and also wasn’t breathing, Carson pointed out that while the broken leg was indeed serious and required some attention, it would be pointless to focus on it until after the patient was breathing on his own again.
So it is with the distracting “shiny objects” of intense discussion about who is colluding with whom and who stands accused of sexual misconduct or is otherwise lacking a perfect set of morals.
To be sure, allegations of collusion and sexual misdeeds are important and worthy of attention, but not at the expense of larger issues such as the nation’s perilous economic situation, dangerous foreign policy failures, growing domestic unrest, the ideological balance of the Supreme Court and a host of other topics that threaten to rip the nation apart.
Finally, Carson pointed to the general public’s apparent acceptance of corruption in government as a sign that our country is in decline, something starkly in parallel with the Roman Empire.
The acceptance of government corruption can best be summed up by the complacent acceptance of substantially all politicians and government officials being inherently corrupt, and that’s the way it’s always been. Thus certain politicians are largely given a pass by the public even in the face of proven instances of lawlessness and corruption.
In the end, Carson suggested that the only way America can save itself from further decline is to begin to get its financial affairs in order, keep a focus on issues of dire national importance instead of “shiny object” distractions, and insist that corrupt government officials be held accountable for their lawless actions.
We couldn’t agree more.
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