The biggest threat to America right now is not government spending, huge deficits, foreign ownership of our debt, world terrorism, two wars, potential epidemics or nuts with nukes. The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business.
She has a point. While the ignorant, self-important corruptocrats in Washington DC and mot State and local governments continue their orgy of spending, new taxes and increasing the size and power of their governments, ordinary Americans are beginning to turn away and lose faith in them entirely. And if the governed once lose trust in the governors, then he system will no longer work at all,
The Constitution is built upon one simple idea - that the governed PERMIT their elected representatives to make decisions for them. In return, they expect their representatives to exercise restraint and behave morally in their best interests. This contract has long since been abandoned by the inhabitants of that strange city we call Washington DC. Buoyed by the ranks of government unions (since when is it acceptable that bureaucrats get unions while the soldiers and sailors - the only government employees who actually EARN their pay have none), the elected representatives are busily dipping into the public till or their own perks while ignoring the interests of the people they profess to serve. William Jefferson had freezers full of cash, and the Washington establishment has ben almost entirely silent about his corruption. Chriss Dodds and Barney Frank have massive sweetheart deal with shady lobbyists - including many of the people responsible for the financial collapse, and the Washington establishment seems to think that is perfectly fine.
Noonan suggests that it is because they are the Baby Boomers - a generation that has never had to worry about anything and one that is infamous for it's selfishness and self-obsession. She writes,
We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.
I hope that they notice at some point. The tea partiers may not have the juice in the long run to end this orgy of disaster that the Washington elites are engaged in, but they symbolize a frustration and a slow-growing wave that may in time take down the corruptocrats. And I issue a warning to these self-important jacks-in-office. Be careful. You folks - particularly on the Left side of the political spectrum - have made a career out of polarization and personal attacks. Remember the typical descriptions of every conservative from Ronald Reagan to George Will to William F. Buckley. They have ben demonized, hung in effigy and compared to Nazis (who were actually closer to the political Left than to the modern American conservative movement). And these same people - many of whom could not have succeeded at a real job where there are actual performance reviews - who are increasingly telling us that only they are qualified to make decisions for us on all levels of our daily lives, regardless of the Constitutional limits on what government can and cannot do.
Be careful, government bureaucrats. Remember that it was a similar situation in ancient Rome that gave rise to Julius Caesar and the Empire. While I would be happy to see most of the bureaucracies disbanded (especially on the Federal level), I don't think that any of us wish to see an American equivalent either to the Roman Empire or to the Socialist nightmares that the current Adminitration seems to be bent on recreating here. But I warn the political elites (and their shills in the Establishment media) - ignore the rising anger and cycnicism at your own cost. Some day there WILL be a reckoning.
To the Democrats, I warn you to stop with the socialism. Most Americans are not socialists and socialism is a system that has failed everywhere it has been tried. Name a single state that has experienced success with a socialist philosophy. There is not one. You can bribe your way to power, but most Americans are still adamantly opposed to your particular brand of ideology - even those nominally DEmocrat. The Leftists who actually support your agenda are noisy, but they constitute under thirty percent of the UNited States. They are not a path to power. Respect the Constitution instead of merely picking the parts you like. All parts of the Constitution should hold equal power. Just because you don't like guns or conservative speech is no reason to toss aside the First and Second Amendments. Weren't you the folks who screamed about dissent being the highest form of patriotism when George W. Bush was President?
To the Republicans, I say - return to your roots or you will cease to exist. Conservatives outnumber liberals and if we have no place to go, we will form our own party. The Democrats are the party of bribery, of election-rigging, of racial politics and of out and out machine politics. The Republicans must be a viable alternative preaching small government, self-respect, individualism and the responsibility. If you are merely Democrat-lite, you have no reason for being. Small government, a strong defense of American interests and a healthy respect for free markets, private property and the individual are the path to power, but only so long as you continue to support those beliefs. The Left controls the Press, the educational establishment and most of the legal profession. You will get no help from any of those and they will sabotage you at every turn. But if you can put your case directly to the voters, I believe that you can persuade them that your path is the correct one. Maybe not in states too far gone down the corruption path - I refer to New York, California, New Jersey, Illinois, etc - but to the swing states you will need to get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. You must not merely reduce the rate of growth of government, but somehow begin reducing it!
Noonan suggest that if the government pushes people far enough, they might simply tune out and take their tax dollars with them. That is possible - in Italy, tax evasion is a national sport. if that begins to happen in this country, there is no way the Federal government could finance their grandiose dreams and the IRS cannot persecute everyone in this country - though they certainly will try! However, history says that is is far more likely that if the people are pushed far enough, a strong leader will arise who will simply take power in his own way. And ultimately, that is not a good thing for the country's survival. Rome itself endured a mere four hundred years or so after the change from Republic to Empire. And I doubt that a multi-cultural America ha any chance at matching that record.
If I had influence or money or power on the requisite scale, I would be busy recruiting solid conservatives in every state to go to Washington and their local governments and dismantle this socialistic nightmare that the left is busy erecting around us. But I don't have any of that. I wrote my thoughts on the future of this once-great nation when Obama won. Nothing I've seen since has changed that opinion.