AGAIN … OR SOMETHING …
Whatever happens with the presidential election tonight, America will find itself at a crossroads when the new government convenes next January. The choices made by voters today will impact who governs the country (or attempts to govern it) over the next two, four or six years – depending on the race. And the choices made by these elected representatives beginning in 2017 will go a long way toward determining America’s domestic future – as well as its future position in the world.
Our material prosperity, individual liberty and personal safety all hang in the balance …
Here’s the thing, though. Our nation is rapidly approaching the point (assuming we’re not already there) when certain choices will be taken out of our hands. In other words, the existing system’s inability to sustain itself is rapidly approaching a point of no return.
Consider these grim realities:
Our government is nearly $20 trillion in debt (a figure which has basically doubled over the last eight years).
Social Security will begin costing more than it takes in beginning in 2019 … and start running deficits in 2035 (according to the most generous government estimates).
94.6 million working age Americans are not part of the labor force.
Income growth is nonexistent (unless you fudge the numbers). Economic growth is less than anemic.
Health insurance premiums are spiking.
How in the hell is a country supposed to recover under such circumstances? Especially when the system subsidizes dependency while rewarding the wealthy and well-connected (thus perpetuating a growing income gap that suppresses consumerism and entrepreneurship)?
Short answer: It isn’t.
Whatever happens tonight, this election cycle saw a populist uprising on the “left” and one on the “right.” The former revolt was put down in the Democratic primary. The latter? We’ll find out soon.
Of course the irony is that both of these “extremist” movements had their genesis in the middle – among Americans who haven’t spent the last sixteen years receiving handouts or bailouts (but have spent the last sixteen years paying for those who do).
Frustrated, liberals and conservatives alike rebuked establishment politicians of both major parties – but thanks to Democratic superdelegates, co-opted media outlets and Republican treachery, we now have the very definition of a status quo candidate on the cusp of winning the White House.
But this isn’t another hit piece on Hillary Clinton … nor is it another endorsement of Donald Trump.
Focusing exclusively on these two personalities misses the larger, more fundamental point(s).
Which are as follows …
GOVERNMENT GROWTH CANNOT SUSTAIN ITSELF …
Bill Clinton said the “era of big government is over” back in 1996, and yet the national debt has nearly quadrupled since then. This year’s deficit soared back over the $1 trillion mark – with additional $1 trillion deficits on the horizon. Such government growth is cancerous to our economy.
THE ECONOMY CANNOT SURVIVE MORE GOVERNMENT EXPANSION …
America’s gross domestic product (GPD) growth hasn’t exceeded four percent in fifteen years – and hasn’t eclipsed the three percent threshold since 2005. The last time the economy grew at a robust rate of more than five percent? 1984. Clearly big government has been a big bust for the American economy.
AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD TO POLICE THE WORLD …
American taxpayers have spent trillions in support of nation-building and subsidizing wars of occupation/ aggression around the globe. They’ve also subsidized the defense of Israel, Japan and much of Europe. Enough is enough. We simply cannot afford to play such an interventionist/ imperial role in the world anymore.
OUR BORDERS CANNOT REMAIN OPEN …
Say what you will about Trump, but he has driven the debate over the necessity of securing our nation’s borders – which, ironically, is one of the few things our government is actually supposed to do. Trump has defined this issue as one of national security and economic well-being – and he is absolutely correct on both counts.
Again, it doesn’t really matter what you think on any of these four critical issues because … again … we are rapidly approaching a point in time when the system sustaining each of them is going to begin collapsing under its own weight.
One last important caveat, though …
While we believe Clinton to be the most corrupt politician this country has seen in decades (someone who ought to be watching tonight’s election returns from a jail cell), her “Stronger Together” campaign theme is every bit as spot on as Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra.
America does need to be made great again … but that’s never going to happen unless its people put aside the blinders of partisanship, race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.
Our house is divided … although we would argue Clinton has done far more to foment these schisms than Trump.
Don’t get us wrong: We are not endorsing the politically-correct cry for equality of outcomes … we are simply embracing the notion that our survival as a nation is bound up in how we treat one another.
Now more than ever, we are all in this together … and the stakes have never been higher.
(Banner via iStock)