Victor Davis Hanson / Apr. 22, 2021

How Much Ruin Do We Have Left?

The rest of the world is watching — some with glee, others with horror.

As Americans know from their own illustrious history, any nation’s well-being hinges on only a few factors. Its prosperity, freedom and overall stability depend on its constitutional and political stability. A secure currency and financial order are also essential, as is a strong military.

Perhaps most important is a first-rate inductive educational system. Of course, nothing is possible without general social calm (often dependent on a reverence for the past) and secure borders.

The ability to produce or easily acquire food, fuel and key natural resources ensures a nation’s independence and autonomy.

Unfortunately, in the last few months, all of those centuries-old reasons to be confident in American strength and resiliency have been put into doubt.

The challenge is not just enemies abroad such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. The greater problem lies within us, as we erode the inherited and acquired strengths that made us singular, both materially and spiritually.

We are now witnessing a concentrated effort to alter the constitutional order and centuries of custom and tradition. The left believes that’s the only way it can retain its transient power, given the unpopularity of most of its current agenda.

A nation’s institutions are its bedrock. Yet, the Electoral College and the Constitution’s emphasis on individual states establishing voting laws are under assault.

Already gone is the 176-year-old tradition of a pivotal November Election Day. The 152-year-old nine-member Supreme Court, the 184-year-old Senate filibuster and the 62-year-old idea of a 50-state union are all being targeted by the New Democratic Party.

Given that the last presidential election was hotly contested, that Democratic congressional majorities are minuscule and that the Supreme Court is unsympathetic, the left seeks to change the rules to stay in power rather than adjust its unpopular policies.

We are running up vast multitrillion-dollar annual deficits as we race to a $30 trillion national debt. More worrisome, our elites justify the spending with sophistries about debt being irrelevant, or inflation and stagflation being relics of the past — even as prices are now soaring.

After costly strategic stagnation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, our military is now turning on its own. Some of the politicized top brass seem more worried about the politics of their own soldiers than the dangers of foreign militaries.

Our public schools and colleges are systematically downplaying meritocratic curricula and substituting ideological, racial and cultural litmus tests. Admissions now often hinge as much on race, gender and ethnicity as on quantifiable achievement. The First Amendment and Fifth Amendment, covering free speech and due process, have vanished from most college campuses.

The year 2020 saw the most destructive riots in American history. Yet very few of the looters, arsonists and rioters were ever indicted. Most were never arrested.

Whether government arrests violent protesters or those assembling en masse and breaking quarantines is contingent on their ideology.

Private monopolies that control most of the written communications of Americans censor expression entirely on the basis of politics.

Modern Jacobins seek to erase our founding in 1776. Mobs tear down statues and deface monuments with impunity. There is no consistent rhyme or reason to why the names of schools, institutions and streets are erased overnight — except the relative dangers of a nihilistic electronic mob.

Our officials at the Justice Department and the United Nations either will not or cannot defend the history and reputation of their own homeland.

Record natural gas and oil production has been giving the public affordable heating, cooling and transportation. Self-sufficiency in energy made the United States exempt from worries over Middle Eastern wars and foreign oil embargos. The more we produced our own natural gas, the cleaner became our air and the smaller our collective carbon footprint.

Yet in just 100 days, energy prices have soared. The Joe Biden administration has canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and limited energy leasing on federal lands, threatening to all but end our gas and oil independence in just a few years.

In the drought-stricken West, key irrigation water is still being diverted from farms to the ocean. Billions of dollars in farm aid are doled out on the basis of race. And promised new regulations and estate taxes may well kill off what’s left of family farms.

Adam Smith said of successful nations that they have a lot of “ruin” in them. He meant that a dissolute, leisured and ahistorical generation has to waste a lot of its generous inherited wealth before it runs out.

We are learning how much will soon be left of what our ancestors bequeathed. And the rest of the world is watching — some with glee, others with horror.

©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.