A Terrible Feeling

peace_statue_us_capitol Image: Jonathon Colman/Flickr

For the past several months, a general feeling of unease has started to  build inside of me. I noticed it soon after the passing of the Net Neutrality Act last February. While the passing of net neutrality is probably not, in itself, justification for the feelings I felt that day, the act’s ratification forced me to see that the nation is no longer what it used to be. People change. We all change, as do governing bodies and institutions. The nation, however, has not simply evolved in any sense. Not as Homo erectus evolved, the Presbyterians, or as a politician evolves during reelection seasons. It has transformed.

One could argue that the transformation began during the presidency of George W. Bush, decades ago, or even half a century ago. It is clear, however, that the quickest rate of transformation occurred and continues during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The globe has become more chaotic, our financial institutions larger, more bloated, and less stable. Presidential power has never been greater, as Obama rules by executive fiat, usurps congressional power, and dictates our governing bodies with a pen and phone. Our federal government has spread its ever expanding tentacles over more and more of our personal liberties . Today more Americans accept on some form of government aid than any prior time in history.

“Things are starting to collapse, abroad and at home,” writes Victor Davis Hanson of NRO. “We all sense it, even as we bicker over who caused it and why.” I am no longer interested in who caused it and why. While I have my own convictions, assignment of blame has become fruitless during a time when our political adversaries don’t even think they’re doing anything wrong.

Hanson continues:

“Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.”

And they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.