USA In Decline? The Revolutionary Idea of America

Written by Rob Morse on July 18, 2014

America is an idea. You could argue that it is several ideas, but one idea is essential. The idea was also revolutionary when it was reinvented in America. The fundamental idea is that we are governed by citizen/legislators. That was supposed to keep government small and simple. A complex and invasive government was fine for Europe, but that form of government was supposed to be un-American. When we say these United States are in decline, they are in decline because of the decline of that one simple idea.

America isn’t wealth. We say a company is in decline when its productivity falls and its debts accumulate. It is certainly true that the Obama administration has given America a record amount of debt. Some of that debt was accumulated with the help of a willing House and Senate. The Obama Administration also spent some of the taxpayers’ money on their own. That documents the rise of an imperial presidency. Sadly, those debts will reduce the purchasing power of the next few generations of Americans. The government’s hunger for more and more money has already put a record number of people out of work. Economic decline is a tragedy, but it is not the decline of America. It is only a symptom.

America isn’t freedom. We now have a government that can spy on its citizens. Your phone calls, your e-mails, your snail mail and your online browsing are recorded by the government. That gives the federal government blackmail materials on everyone. A corrupt politician can make innocence look like guilt even if you have a life of spotless virtue. We have far too many self-serving politicians and bureaucrats who are eager to use that power. Corruption is a symptom of decline, but not its root.

American government was supposed to be simple. The reason was obvious. The American founders saw royalty in Britain and France use every government bureau to advance the political power of the sovereign. Their complex apparatus of government served those in power rather than serving the citizens. That sounds like the government we have today.

Now we’ve seen the IRS used against the political opponents of the Obama administration. We’ve seen the EPA used against industries that refuse to make political payoffs. We now select American immigrants based on their political usefulness.

America was supposed to be a classless society without royalty. America now has a political class. We have our home grown royalty of billionaires who struggle to live on multi-million dollars a year. We’ve seen these politicians weaponize government, and I don’t trust them to govern. I’d rather elect the local butcher, baker, insurance broker or minister. These ordinary men and women have America’s interests at heart. Professional politicians don’t.

You make my point if you argue our current American government is too complex to be run by the ordinary citizen/legislator. That vast complexity isn’t a high-performance feature; it is a fault. “Too complex to govern” belongs on the trash heap of failed ideas right there with “too big to fail.”

Simplify the government of these Unites States and return power to the citizens. I trust my fellow citizens to solve our problems. I trust them far more than I trust our royal politicians.