Free Markets, Free People

America in decline?

That’s the consensus in an interesting poll just published:

More than two-thirds of voters say the United States is declining, and a clear majority think the next generation will be worse off than this one, according to the results of a new poll commissioned by The Hill.

A resounding 69 percent of respondents said the country is “in decline,” the survey found, while 57 percent predict today’s kids won’t live better lives than their parents. Additionally, 83 percent of voters indicated they’re either very or somewhat worried about the future of the nation, with 49 percent saying they’re “very worried.”

The results suggest that Americans don’t view the country’s current economic and political troubles as temporary, but instead see them continuing for many years.

My father used to tell me “you live between your ears” meaning attitude and outlook are yours to control and play a critical part in life.

Attitude and outlook are also critical in any sort of economic recovery.  If the attitude is pessimistic and the outlook deemed as dismal, it sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I remember back in the days of the Jimmy Carter presidency, the “malaise” that settled in on the country.  People felt everything was out of control.  Interest rates were through the roof, we were seen as a paper tiger in the world and whatever else Jimmy Carter might be, he wasn’t much of a leader.   Everyone then thought America was in decline then too.

But then Ronald Reagan came along, took charge, changed the attitude and outlook of Americans and, well, the rest is literally history.

One of the key jobs of a President of the United States is to address the country’s outlook and attitude.  It is a very important aspect of leadership.  It is also critical to recovery from economic problems, unemployment and other ills that are besetting our country.  It is about setting up the proper climate to make attitudes swing to the positive side and the outlook appear rosier.

One of the things I’ve said consistently since Barack Obama has taken office is he’s not (nor has he ever been) a leader.   That’s actually no surprise to me because I understand what leadership requires.   In a word, development.   The great leaders of today, with very few exceptions, worked their way up to their ultimate leadership job through a series of lesser leadership jobs. 

I use military examples because they’re familiar to me, but no division commander ever took that job that hadn’t first been a platoon leader, then company commander, battalion commander and brigade commander.

And even then, some division commanders are better than others.   But regardless, their leadership skills have been developed and honed by successive leadership positions of increased size and responsibility.  And the weak leaders have been cast aside in that process.

We’ve elected a man who hasn’t even had a platoon, if you get my drift.  And now we’re asking him to lead (well, in reality, we ask him to lead 3 years ago) in a very difficult time.

This poll indicates how well he’s doing.

In any school in the land, his grade in leadership would be “F”.

Is America in decline?  Under this president the answer is “yes”.  Does it have to remain in decline?  No.  But to change that, the first step is voting the present occupant of the White House out of office.  The good news is we all know what happened to Jimmy Carter.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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24 Responses to America in decline?

  • Here is the nut-cutting question:
    Are we PERCEIVED to be in a decline organic to “stuff”; OR,
    are we OBSERVED to be in decline because of the choices our “leaders” have been making?
    I think the latter is true.  I think a leader who believes in this nation could turn that around in short order.

    • Our decline is between our ears. America has become a nation in which making childish excuses is a cottage industry.

      • Well, the whole ambit of “magical thinking” among PART of us is quite active and well-understood.  (Erp…???)
        That does not speak to my question, however.  Is this perception an INEVITABLE loss of faith in who we are, or is it a condition of WATCHING reality during the last few years?

        • awww. we’re bummed because the media spent 8 years telling us we SHOULD be bummed under BOOOOOOOSHitler!   Then we were supposed to be all happy dancin about the new occupant of the White House, but by then the economy had given us something to be bummed about and the new occupant piled his crap plans on top of crap and proceeded to demonstrate post haste he was a clueless anti-American dork.
           
          Abroad he bowed to everyone he could find and at home he appointed czar’s and set regulations and did his best to trash the place.
           
          Sure, it’s not just him that’s crap, it’s the perfect collection of idiots in government, there’s real trouble, but a leader can snap us out of it and minimize the damage.  I have to ask myself, how many Regan’s can I get in my lifetime?
           
          Heh, I just realized, how many Carter’s could I have expected?   So far I’ve gotten two Carter’s, though I have to say, Obama is really a special class of unexpected crappiness below the previously rock bottom Carter level.

        • “Magical thinking”, as in superstition?
          One might say our “faith” in ourselves leads us to believe we’re invincible and entitled to our prosperity. On the other hand, our reasoned observation tells us we’re in deep poop, and churning our generation after generation (back to Dewey in the 1920′s) of morons is making us less and less capable of pulling out of the slide (caused in large part by our moronic education indoctrination (as opposed to education teaching the methods of thinking).

  • When the constant stream of bad news is no longer greeted as “unexpectedly”, we have a systemic problem. Yes, while perception is 90% of reality, I am not imagining this inflation and a pRESIDENT who is he!!-bent on redistributing my income.

  • ” The good news is we all know what happened to Jimmy Carter”

    We know that Obama, once out of office, will sit back and blame everyone but himself for his failures.  In addition, when the next President is elected and things start to look up (as anything is better than Obama), Obama will be in front of the mikes (with the willing MSM cheering him on) proclaiming that his policies were finally working and that he just didnt have enough time in office to see the result.

    • He can claim anything he wants, and do anything he wants, just as long as he’s sitting somewhere other than the Oval Office.

  • “The good news is we all know what happened to Jimmy Carter.”
    The bad news is that I don’t see a Ronald Reagan out there.
    Ron Paul is the closest but he is practically ignored outside of the political junkies.

    • Yeah … I almost put that in tkc. You’re right.

    • Ron Paul is a fruitcake.  Not to say he never has anything worth hearing.
      He’s also fundamentally dishonest, IMNHO.

      • Yeah, if RP is the answer, then I guess I’m a socialist after all.

        • No human being is “the answer”.
          You shouldn’t look to others, whether politicians or celebrities, or to tales of magic, or “official” fancy pieces of paper for answers to your personal problems.  Look to yourself and to those with whom you can make mutual, consensual exchanges of values and don’t presume to dictate to anyone else how they should solve their problems.
          Then, you can say you’re not a socialist.

      • Ron Paul: On the one side, there’s this:
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204346104576637290931614006.html (Blame the Fed for the Financial Crisis) he’s the only candidate that understands what happened.
        Now, on the BAD side, there’s his anti-semitism, right next door to Jimmy Carter’s: http://wincoast.com/forum/showthread.php?71577-The-Ron-Paul-controversy-a-postmortem&s=2ecb2a4ba45a73125637cf4920e94620

      • Certainly Ron Paul is fundamentally dishonest.  He’s a politician.  Every other politician is also fundamentally dishonest.
        But Paul is far more honest, rational, and intelligent than any other politician on the national scene.
        Voting is an act of aggression against one’s neighbors (granting a proxy to plunder one’s neighbors’ productive efforts and otherwise trample their rights) and I advise others to stop the practice immediately.  But besides the evils of being an elected office holder, my disagreements with Ron Paul are that he’s religious, he panders to the anti-immigration obnoxiousness, and he hides behind the US constitution as an excuse to let state governments do immoral things he doesn’t think the federal government should.
        Otherwise, on being anti-war, anti-prohibition (drugs), shutting down whole departments, etc., his ideas are clearly superior to any of the other nitwits who share the stage with him at those debates.
        Again, I’m not endorsing the guy, just pointing out that everyone else is even worse.

  • The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.

    I don’t know what these guys are smoking, but they should share.  This is possible, but not likely.

  • Its interesting that Obama has been a very violent President (in a good way) but supposedly countries don’t take him seriously.
    I mean, his bite is worse than his bark if you ask some of the people he has killed. Weird.

    • He hardly planned this last one, and can scarcely claim credit for an assassination that they had no idea would occur.  Not to mention you’ll recall, we turned this over to NATO, remember?
      But it’s all about him, so, of course, he was responsible, but not for the bad bits, just for the victory, of course, well, and the death, but not the bad bits of the death, and he’ll be responsible for Libya being ‘free’ for 15 minutes before the Islamists plunge it back into the 12th century sans Gaddafi.
       
       

  • Bruce, a Division Commander is an appointive position, not an elective one. :-)
    Yes, leadership is leadership, but in politics it’s more a matter of popular aggrandizement. A STATESMAN would not be elected, much less be re-elected.
    Also, a division commander leads the “privates” to willingly take orders; our civilian privates are, well, they’re “occupiers”. For 40 years the US has “bred” a nation of mental misfits — there’s not much to lead.
    It would greatly behoove us if there were another Reagan, waiting in the wings, but all we have re a bunch of Barney Fife’s.