It’s clear to me — as it should be to everyone else — that the majority in this country are more socially liberal and secular than they used to be. We’ve now shifted to a slightly left of center position. Homosexuality is no longer taboo and is becoming more accepted, to include gay marriage now being legal in a multitude of States. The prohibition status of marijuana is taking fire as two states have now chosen to legalize it for recreational use (Colorado and Washington) in direct contradiction to Federal law. The legalization of abortion, more commonly referred to by its misnomer “pro-choice” is also more widely accepted. The Church has simply lost its bite in defense of the unborn. The people clearly want more liberties and less restriction on how they live their lives. The only exceptions being New York and San Francisco were things seem to be getting more restrictive, but I don’t think either of those two cities represent the majority, nor will their policies last. So to me, the country is clearly moving in a new direction with respect to the social issues. Being a libertarian, I can’t say I disagree, although the “pro-choice” aspect still bothers me.
However, we sill face the daunting task of getting our fiscal house in order. I don’t think it would have mattered who won this election (Romney or Obama) because neither really seems capable of reigning in the spending. My fear is that we are heading the way of Greece, France, Italy, and Spain in that our government simply cannot afford to keep the promises it has made to its People. Now that the campaign rhetoric will end, it’ll be interesting to see how the “facts” are presented and the solutions that must soon follow.
The government is borrowing $1.2 trillion every year to sustain the status quo. This cannot continue and I don’t think many people would argue this fact. The question is, how does our government fix this? That unfortunately is not a simple question, and therefore does not lend itself a simple answer. It’s clear the spending will continue, and so my fear is we’ll be forced to learn from our mistake(s).
I foresee one of two things happening. The first being we continue on as we have, spending money we don’t have suffering either devastating inflation or total collapse (probably both). When “Peak Money” occurs, austerity will kick in just as it has in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. People who were once promised certain sums of money and services will be left in wanting, and some in needing. The desperate will beg for help, but the help will not come. This will be our new great depression, but we will overcome, just as we did in the 1930′s. Question is, will the government then make the same mistakes by promising the People goods and services it knows it cannot deliver (Social Security, Medicare, years of Unemployment Benefits, Welfare, Food Stamps, Disability, free education, free healthcare, etc)?
The second possibility is that the government can indeed find a way to afford and deliver upon all its promises of unicorns and lollipops. This would be a first in the history of the world, and America would succeed where all others have failed. Perhaps there is a hybrid model of what’s been and what could be that will meet the needs and the wants of the People. What we as a People must be careful of is that we don’t let hope guide us instead of practicality and reality. For this to work, we must unite as a country and be willing to sacrifice. Our unicorns won’t be the prettiest, but they will have a horn. And our lollipops won’t be as big, nor will they taste as good, but we’ll each have one. To the majority, this will be acceptable and that’s probably the way we as a country are moving.
I for one am not a big fan of the latter and appear to be in the minority these days. And for the record, I’m not a fan of total collapse either! The next four years will provide definitive proof of where we are heading as there is no turning back. The Tea Party was the last stand against a move in our current direction, and it has failed. The good news is we are not heading into uncharted territory, so we can look to history for guidance. The bad news is, history will show us we are not heading in the right direction and nothing good will come of it. We are going down the same failed path so many have tried in the past.
Good luck America, and just remember; United we stand, divided we fall.