The Tipping Point and the Crossroads

The United States finds itself at a crossroads, facing a stark reality it can no longer ignore or leave to future generations.  We are presently on an irreversible path toward inevitable failure and second-class status.  It all started forty-eight years ago, we now can see.  The distance America has traveled down this road over the past forty-eight years -- a comparatively short period within the historical life of a nation -- is astounding.

All of us, when we approach the twilight of our years, have one event or a year that is indelibly etched in our memory.  For me, it is 1963.  I was attending college in Washington, D.C. during one of the most memorable times in the recent history of that city.  I was among the 200,000 at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th to hear Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech.  To this day I can still hear his voice and words, as they remain in the forefront of my memory.  But the most profound and compelling experience during my years in the United States came three months later on November 25, 1963.

On that Monday morning, I stood along Connecticut Avenue, less than a block from St. Matthew's Cathedral -- a witness to the funeral of President John F. Kennedy.  I was amongst the hushed and melancholy crowd as the body of the president passed by, the silence pierced by the hooves of six gray horses pulling the caisson bearing the flag-draped coffin slowly making its way to the church.  I watched as Jacqueline Kennedy, in her stoic and determined manner and escorted by Robert and Ted Kennedy, walked those final blocks to the cathedral.   I saw presidents, royalty, and prime ministers from all corners of the globe in procession behind her -- there to honor the fallen president.

After the funeral mass at the cathedral, I caught sight of the First Lady clutching the hands of her six-year-old daughter, Caroline, and her three-year old son, John Jr., as they stood on the upper steps of the church watching the casket being placed on the caisson for the final journey to Arlington National Cemetery.  It is to this day an indelible and haunting portrait I cannot forget.

As the funeral procession passed by on its way to Arlington, I was struck by the poignant image of the riderless horse, symbolic of the loss of a nation's leader, following the remains of the president.  I was overwhelmed with a sense of dread and apprehension as I asked myself the question: what course will the country that only twelve years before had generously and with open arms welcomed me, a displaced war orphan, into the American family choose?

Unfortunately, the answer was not long in coming.  In short order, America turned dramatically to the left, following the path of the socialist democracies of Europe.  Within four years, a war, forced upon the American people and mismanaged by its leaders, had spawned massive unrest easily exploited by the radical elements in the country, thus allowing their ideology to metastasize within the American society.  Less than five years after his unforgettable speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King lay dying on the balcony of a Memphis hotel -- the victim of an assassin's bullet.  The civil rights movement, so vital to the renewal of the nation's ideals, was soon hijacked by those who traffic in either violence or racial intimidation.

President Lyndon Johnson, shamelessly exploiting the nation's shock over the death of its youthful president, steered the nation onto the course of massive government intervention into the day-to-day lives of all Americans and unbridled social spending, as exemplified by his "War on Poverty," the passage of Medicare, and expanded welfare programs.  The inexorable transfer of unbridled power to Washington and the political expedient of unsustainable promises to the American people, in exchange for their votes, had begun.

Over the past 48 years, the Democratic Party has become the unabashed promoter of these policies, while the Republican establishment, with a few exceptions like Ronald Reagan, have become the enablers.  The United States is now on the verge of national bankruptcy, accelerated dramatically over the past three years by Barack Obama.

In stark economic statistics, the comparison between the nation in 1963 and today is as follows (all 1963 financial statistics in 2011 dollars):



% Difference


186.2 million

312.1 million


Annual Gross Domestic Product


$ 4.6 Trillion


$ 15.1 Trillion



Annual Government Spending (all levels)


1.3 Trillion


6.1 Trillion



Total National Debt

2.3 Trillion

15.1 Trillion


Annual Interest on the Debt


73.0 Billion


333.0 Billion



Annual Government Social Spending


437.7 Billion


3,673.0 Billion



Unfunded Future Liabilities (est.)


12.5 Trillion


107.0 Trillion



Median Household Income







*For the year 2010 ( ( (

While the GDP has more than tripled during these past 48 years, median income has remained stagnant thanks in part to government spending, which grew fivefold.  Government now siphons off 41% of the GDP as compared to 28% in 1963.  This is an untenable trajectory, one that can no longer be justified or sustained.  But instead, it is destined to dramatically accelerate and further erode the standard of living for all Americans if the policies of Barack Obama remain intact.

The Obama administration has already accumulated over $4 trillion in debt in just three years, adamantly refusing to curtail spending and pursue policies designed to grow the economy.  As the European Union marches toward an inevitable collapse, which will impact American banks and financial markets, and as the world economy falters, there is no fall-back position for the United States; it has spent, printed, borrowed, and committed itself to massive guarantees which have placed the country into a position of potential insolvency.

However, it is not just the unrestrained growth of government and misguided fiscal and monetary policies that have brought the country to the precipice; it is also the denigration of American society and the transformation of the American ruling class -- a large percentage of whom subscribe to radical political philosophies.  This is a ruling class that has access to trillions of dollars and the unchecked power of government at its disposal -- a byproduct of which is the astronomical rise in political corruption and cronyism (most recently exemplified by the "Green Energy" scandals in the Obama administration).

This process had its beginning in 1964 through 1968 as the Johnson administration's mishandling of the Vietnam War spawned a broad antiwar movement.  It was promptly seized upon by the true believers on the left as a recruiting pool; leftists proclaimed to the gullible that the United States was an unjust and repressive tool of capitalism.  The siren song of a classless society wherein all are treated equal and there are no absolutes found eager ears.  Many traditions based on the religious foundation of the country and the societal and ethical guidelines which sprang from them came to be viewed as standing in the way of allowing select segments of the population to experience absolute freedom to do as they pleased.

Thus, an increasing portion of the citizenry either was sympathetic to or chose to ignore the gradual infiltration of leftist ideology.  Its proponents now dominate the entertainment industry, education, the media, unions, and, the largest prize, the Democratic Party.  Statist ideology by its nature does not respect or recognize the uniqueness of each individual, as the collective, governed by an exclusive ruling class, and total state control of the economy is the endgame.

All the upheaval and radicalism spawned in the decade of the 1960s has culminated in the election of Barack Obama.  He was born in 1961, the son of avowed Marxist parents.  Not only in his childhood, but during all of his formative years, he was immersed in the extremism of the left.  He knows no other course of action.  He is incapable of and has no interest in understanding the dilemma the country faces except that it accelerates the transformation of an allegedly "unfair and racist" society.  The combination of the fiscal path chosen by Lyndon Johnson and the statist policies pursued by Obama and today's Democratic Party has greatly accelerated the potential collapse of the United States.

Thus, America is at a crossroads.  If Barack Obama, the most extreme president in American history, is re-elected and the current governing class remains in place, there will be no turning back.  The worst fears that came over me on that Monday in November of 1963 will come to pass, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy will have been the tipping point that precipitated the fall of a great nation.

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