American Denial

Many of us who immigrated to the United States from either war-ravaged or totalitarian countries, where freedom was either unknown or the quintessence of daydreams, find ourselves baffled by a trait common to the majority of Americans: the belief, consciously or subconsciously, that the worst cannot happen here.  That somehow the demoralizing images and disturbing experiences of those elsewhere are confined to those poor souls and will never find their way to American shores.

While this characteristic is found across all political and economic strata, it is particularly rampant among the current ruling class in the United States, who by their control of the culture and education, have ingrained that sort of thinking into the psyche of the vast majority of Americans. 

Is this mindset a by-product of 66 years of unprecedented peace and prosperity?  Is there something unique in the American character that revels in denial?  Is there over-confidence that Americans can accomplish anything?  Is this outlook the end-product of a lack of education and appreciation of how the success of the United States is extraordinary and of the fact that since modern man took his first tentative step on the plains of Africa 200,000 years ago until the present less than 9% of all humanity has ever experienced true freedom?

Overwhelming peace and prosperity, over the past many decades, has sown the seeds that will lead to rapid erosion in the American way of life.   As the United States has not experienced a major national catastrophe in over 146 years, coupled with no significant economic hardships since 1940, the view across the landscape as far as the mind's eye chooses to see is of never-ending affluence and freedom from strife. 

With this perspective in mind, it is easy to believe, as human nature would choose to do, that there will always be an unlimited source of wealth and with that wealth the country should be obligated to see to it that no citizen, as a factor of residency, suffers any hardship.  It is a belief easily exploited by the Left as a means of obtaining sufficient votes to acquire and retain power.  But this conviction is also the foundation of American socialist dogma for those who revel in the self-importance and superiority that attaches itself to this errant philosophy. 

It is of little personal sacrifice to espouse Marxist/socialist theory while doing so in a comfortable environment provided by the entrepreneurship and wealth creation of others.  But the key to this mindset is the deep-seated belief that there is no end to the prosperity the United States creates, regardless of the increasingly heavy hand of government.  It is only a matter of allocation, and more importantly to the Left, the authority over society that predetermined re-distribution brings about.

But the Left is not alone in its acceptance of never-ending peace and prosperity.  Many on the Right also subscribe to this mindset as they, in order to also acquire political power, do not point out the folly of this state of mind and what the Left preaches; but instead choose to proceed on a slower, but ultimately the same track in placating and abetting this belief that has become so ingrained in the American psyche.

The United States is unique among nations because of its founding principles, geography and mix of cultures and races.  Those factors enabled the country to overcome a myriad of tribulations in its early years and develop an atmosphere conducive to an overwhelming barrage of creativity, ingenuity and individual advancement.  But those days are rapidly receding into the pages of history as the oppressive hand of government, now encroached into the day-to-day lives of all Americans, has nearly made that nation a relic of the past.  Yet among many there is still the belief that regardless of this ever growing intrusion and forced wealth re-distribution America can still accomplish anything at anytime against all odds or competitors. 

As long as those in the ruling class, abetted by a majority of the public, continue in their present state of mind, then the ongoing immature and childish game of political one-upmanship, name calling and winning at all costs mentality on the Left and obsession with civility and moderation on the Right will persist as both sides naively believe there are no negative consequences in doing so.   The end result, however, is to obfuscate the the true depth of the country's problems, while genuine solutions to the nation's dilemmas become impossible to achieve.

The American populace is no longer taught the basics of the the founding the United States and how it was able to achieve the peace and prosperity that is the hallmark of the present day.  Nor are they aware that the annals of history are littered with the refuse of once invincible cultures whose citizenry never thought the worst would ever happen to them.  All succumbed to greed, complacency and hubris; traits which have also begun to dominate American society.

While some Americans are waking up to the potential economic and security disasters that loom over the horizon, the vast majority are not.  There still exists, deep in the recesses of the American mindset, the entrenched thought that none of this will really happen.  That somehow, because this is the United States, there will be an easy and painless way to offset the potential problems -- that is if these dilemmas really are genuine.

Those of us who have first-hand experience from other nations of what the worst can be, say with great assurance that it can happen in the United States and it will unless Americans, and in particular the governing class, awaken from their self-induced stupor and honestly face that reality.  Until that happens the country will continue its headlong dash toward disaster when it may well be too late to resolve the problems without massive suffering and a greatly diminished country.