For a long time I've kept my eye open to anybody who could put down in writing, or even in a speech, what began in the 1960s and how it has impacted America today. Well, I think I found it. No matter what you feel about Bill O'Reilly, I believe he has really hit the nail on the head in his recent column. Here is the part I felt was so very right-on:
The collapse of tradition began in the late 1960s when the Vietnam War raged. For the first time, Americans could see the horrors of combat in their living rooms. And that war was largely undefined, especially for younger people. What the hell was the USA doing in southeast Asia? Why were young men being drafted into a conflict few understood? In order to win any war, you need dynamic leadership. President Lyndon Johnson failed to provide it.
Out went the baby with the bathwater. In came drugs, free love, and a suspicion of authority. No longer was the United States a noble nation in the eyes of many of its own citizens who began to see their country as an oppressor. America became a divided nation. Traditions eroded quickly as many people began doing their "own thing." No longer was there a widely accepted code of conduct.
Self-reliance remained the key to success in our capitalistic system, but for those who declined to compete, the federal government stepped in to lend support. As the family structure collapsed, entitlements became more common as children and single mothers had to be supported. The vexing issues of racial inequality and persistent poverty brought about ultra-expensive social engineering. Liberal Americans looked to the Western European model of cradle-to-grave support as a panacea for "income inequality." The view that Washington has a moral obligation to provide a decent lifestyle for everyone took root.
That philosophy, currently embraced by President Obama, has led to massive debt, which, in turn, has created chaos in the private marketplace. In this world, a strong economic base is the foundation of power. America has lost that base.
His entire column can be read here.
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