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What next?

August 9, 2018

One of the causes shaping the election of a Celebrity President is a fundamental reality: American political culture is in decline.

We see that in the low public opinion of Congress whose members are so “ordinary,” lack of interest in political careers by our “best and brightest,” “journalists” who believe they are citizens of the world, and an essential materialism that infuses American society.

American political culture is on a “downer” unlike in any other, more exuberant, eras that defined the American people.

After the French and Indian War, American colonists became conscious of shared interests independent from the British Crown. From that came the “Spirit of ’76.”

Other positive eras were similarly defined:  World War I (the Roaring Twenties) and World War II (anti-Communism). In 1991 the “Evil Empire” collapsed releasing the energies of formally “captive nations,” but in the United States American political leaders were defined by peripheral impulses, not central virtues.

Jimmy Carter’s impious moralism, George H.W. Bush’s Kennebunkport “Internationalism,” Bill Clinton’s rapacious sexual appetite, George W. Bush’s recovery from addiction and, of course, Donald J. Trump’s “Celebrity.”

We would not be Americans, if we didn’t ask “What next?”

That question reveals some difficult problems. The ranks of Congressional leaders are composed of the lackluster, Paul Ryan, the cunning, Marco Rubio, the zealots, Ted Cruz, and socialists Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. None exists to give confidence that after Trump we’ll find anything better.

There is a solution: change the culture. How can we do that?

Remove the Progressive Left from dominance in American higher education. Institute tough libel and slander laws and constrain the citizens of the world who make up our ranks of “Journalists,” and recover civic education as a component of our high schools and colleges.

Do that and Jesse Watters’ “World” will feature interviews with sensible, knowledgeable citizens not unlike those who fought a war to establish the independence of the American colonies.

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