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America Is Gone
American Thinker ^ | Oct 24, 2010 | David Deming

Posted on 10/23/2010 11:07:36 PM PDT by Rashputin

America Is Gone By David Deming

There is a whiff of anarchy in the air this morning. As I sit here writing, a conservative victory in the midterm elections looms. But I find no reason to be optimistic. The midterm elections will solve nothing. The plain fact is that conservatives have lost the battle for America. The country that many of us were born in has ceased to exist. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. Nothing can or will change until we come to terms with the grim reality of moral degeneration. And I have no hope that this can happen, save by some terrible trial.

Last week in Oklahoma City, two pedestrians were run down by cars at the same intersection within a few hours. In one incident, the driver did not bother to stop, but continued driving as if nothing had happened. It was a horrific but perfect metaphor for the self-absorbed entitlement mentality that grips the country.

Every day, the news brings a startling new incident of moral corruption. A few days ago it was reported that an eighteen-year-old geology student at Arizona State University had starred in an online pornographic film in which she performed "explicit and degrading" sex acts for a one-time payment of $2,000. The young woman explained that she needed the money to supplement her scholarship, and then inexplicably proclaimed, "I have morals!"

We are a nation of gluttons. About one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. To qualify as "obese," the average person has to be not just overweight, but carry an extra thirty-five pounds or more. In the last thirty years, the obesity rate in America has more than doubled. It is the sheerest irony that today, the average person has the choice of a multiplicity of fresh, wholesome, and nutritious foods, all available at the lowest prices in history. But choosing and preparing the best foods takes time and effort. We would rather stuff ourselves with fast food because it's tasty and convenient. The consequences of this slothful lifestyle include hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. After ruining our health through gluttony, we then go to our physicians and demand a quick fix in the form of a pill. Pharmaceutical companies are glad to oblige. And the government must pay, because free health care is now a "right."

There is no better index for America's moral degradation than television programming. Compare today's shows with those of a generation ago. Every episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" contained a short moral lesson, and "The Twilight Zone" challenged our intellects and stretched our imaginations. But entertainment and instruction have devolved into shock and novelty. The networks are locked in a downward spiral to see who can provide the most outrageous and offensive programming. It's not their fault. They're just giving the American people what they want.

Children are not as smart as their parents. The average child today spends thirteen hours watching television for every hour he spends reading. We blame teachers and schools for failing to educate our children. But what can they do with undeveloped and undisciplined minds that expect to be entertained and rebel at the labor of thought? The decline in intellectual aptitude is so dramatic that the authors of the SAT test have had to add a hundred points to the combined math and verbal score just to make current averages equal of those of a generation ago.

We are oblivious to the fact that our society is intellectually and artistically bankrupt. Modern art is not good enough to be bad. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci took four years to paint the Mona Lisa. He left the work unfinished because he was always seeking to add "perfection to perfection." Earlier this year, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that the way Leonardo created realistic flesh tones was by building up successive layers of pigments that were as thin as a few micrometers. A micrometer is a thousandth of a millimeter.

Compare Leonardo's work with that of the modern American artist Robert Ryman. Ryman began his career working as a security guard at a museum. The guard decided he wanted to become a painter, so he bought some white house paint and slathered it on a canvas. Art critics had orgasms. For decades, Ryman has continued to produced paintings that consist of nothing but monochrome white. The tones and textures vary, but most of Ryman's paintings consist of nothing but a plain white surface. Ryman has explained that he paints only white surfaces because he wants to "reduce visual disturbances." Imagine that the next time you're contemplating Michelangelo's "disturbances" on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Our popular music is a painful cacophony of obnoxious dissonance. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. We have Snoop Dogg and Lady Gaga. Is that progress? We have advanced technology, but do we use it uplift ourselves? No, we indulge the animal side of our natures. The internet is mostly used for downloading pornography or playing video games.

In America today, everyone is entitled to everything. According to a recent report by NPR, the mentally retarded are now attending college and receiving grants. Professors are being advised (i.e., pressured) to modify their curricula to accommodate the new students. People incessantly demand entitlements and handouts. Every government intervention in the free-market system creates a fresh problem that demands another ruinous intervention with unintended consequences. Nobody is responsible for anything, and no one wants to pay the bills. And believe me, they're coming due.

In this brave new world, everyone has the right to not be offended, and no one can be held accountable for anything. The fundamental unit of human civilization, the family, has been caustically eroded by feminism. The divorce rate is fifty percent. Oklahoma is supposedly a conservative state. Last year, a state legislator introduced a bill that would require parents with minor children seeking a divorce to first undergo counseling. Not only was the bill not passed, but the legislator was derided and mocked. How dare anyone be required to undertake the work necessary to save a marriage for the sake of his or her children? Why, it might interfere with their pursuit of happiness.

We celebrate homosexuality and then wonder why sexually transmitted diseases are exploding. According to the CDC, men-who-have-sex-with-men make up only two percent of the population but account for 53 percent of all new HIV infections and 64 percent of all new syphilis cases.

I'm beginning to acquire an appreciation for Paul's doctrine of Original Sin. The nation that began with freedom of religion has progressed to freedom from religion, freedom from moral constraint, and freedom from responsibility. Just as Plato described in the Republic, the "horses and asses" are "marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen," and the ultimate result can be only that "tyranny will spring from democracy."

Elections matter only in the short term. Every long-term social index I am aware of is negative. The plain fact is that the American people are too morally degenerate to be capable of effective self-government. The Roman satirist Juvenal understood. "The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things -- bread and games!" I can find no reason to be optimistic. It is only our blind vanity that lets us pretend that the United States can endure forever. Rome fell, and so will America. For all intents and purposes, it is already over.

David Deming is an associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Science and Technology in World History: The Ancient World and Classical Civilization.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: society
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To: Exton1

Oh I don’t know. I think a fresh start might do some good.

21 posted on 10/23/2010 11:45:06 PM PDT by Huck (Antifederalist BRUTUS should be required reading.)
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To: Rashputin

Interest alert ......

22 posted on 10/23/2010 11:46:00 PM PDT by snooter55 (People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do)
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To: Exton1
However, I do think that he is teaching us a lesson we will soon not forget.

Fixed it.

23 posted on 10/23/2010 11:46:10 PM PDT by Huck (Antifederalist BRUTUS should be required reading.)
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To: Exton1

God has not abandoned us...people have turned from Him. We are fast approaching more of the population playing lip service to Him if even that. I don’t think God is teaching us a lesson at all...I think He’s letting us see just how we operate without Him....and unfortunately the people are primed to look for an “answer man” and it won’t be God they look to.

24 posted on 10/23/2010 11:47:24 PM PDT by caww
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To: Rashputin

I think it’s over. It is why I’ve been using my tag line for well over a year now.

Actually, a better way to put it is that I HOPE it’s over, because what we’re in for will very probably be worse than the early 1940’s. If it isn’t the last one, it will feel as pointless as all the previous conflicts. But the outcome will be more devastating than any previous conflicts.

25 posted on 10/23/2010 11:51:09 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: caww
I agree..unfortunately when people throw off all moral constraints...Wallstreet robbery, Fannie MAe...etc.etc. continues unabated....these are people with no basic morals.

Look at human history. Moral contraints? More like almost constant blood-letting and skullduggery. Moral restraint is something we middlings do. Up there at the top, it's all about conquering, kill or be killed, get what you can when you can. It's just that now, instead of William the Conqueror, it's William the Banker. Instead of Alexander the Great, it's Alexander the Politician. But I don't see where the underlying motives of the ruling class have changed. Just the tactics.

26 posted on 10/23/2010 11:51:30 PM PDT by Huck (Antifederalist BRUTUS should be required reading.)
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To: Rashputin

Right on!

27 posted on 10/23/2010 11:53:08 PM PDT by jospehm20
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To: Ol' Sparky

Eliminating fed control of education will be a huge step towards that.

28 posted on 10/23/2010 11:55:08 PM PDT by jospehm20
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To: Rashputin
The writer's key phrase is, "save by some terrible trial", and I'm afraid he's right.

Just look at how California dithers at dealing with its fiscal woes, year after year. Many states are not far behind.

And our FedGov answers fiscal disaster with more spending.

It doesn't work here on the home front. I can either pinch pennies, or I can take out a big HELOC, get myself a half-dozen more Platinum and Titanium Charge Cards, max them all out, and my neighbors will think I'm one rich dude.....until the day I move out with a foreclosure sign in front of my house.

"Whatever happenend to the rich guy down the street? Sure is quiet over there."

The refusal to face the reality that there is no more "something for nothing" is going to be a very hard lesson.

29 posted on 10/23/2010 11:55:08 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: BobP
I made these graphics yesterday...attempting to discourage people from voting for democrats. Do you think they would be effective?

30 posted on 10/23/2010 11:57:10 PM PDT by KMJames
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To: Ol' Sparky

“Winning elections and scaling back government isn’t nearly enough. At minimum, conservatives have to seize control of the judiciary and end the public school monopoly in addition to resolving the economic woes and size of government.”

Do you mean, “for starters”?


31 posted on 10/23/2010 11:58:27 PM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: Rashputin

I have to agree with the author.

America is now nothing more than a land mass populated by far too many cretins and parasites who have absolutely no respect for the military and who vote for big government to confiscate money from their neighbors and “redistribute” it to them. It is not an America worth defending anymore.

There’s no point hanging onto the past. America had a great run. Remember it fondly for what it was.

The parasites outnumber the hosts now, and there’s no going back. Throw some cold water in your face and figure out how to grab every government dime you possibly can before the parasites gobble it all up.

Whatever. I just live here.
Every man for himself.

32 posted on 10/23/2010 11:58:27 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Rashputin

Ideology is obsolete, most of this society has coalesced into a hedonistic libertarian klepocracy. It is a buffet of filth and corruption in a million flavors.

33 posted on 10/24/2010 12:00:53 AM PDT by WalterSobchak2012
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To: Rashputin

I’m afraid that you have hit the nail on the head. We can only succeed by loosening the grip of Washington’s entrenched, unelected bureaucracies (for example the Dept of Education) that do the day to day work of government and returning power to the states. This will take a lot of pushing and shoving by an outraged citizenry over a long period of time.

Good luck with that. The machinery of Washington is not subject to the rule of law. Bureaucracies can steer adverse challenges to whatever departmental authority or activist judge will give them a favorable ruling.

34 posted on 10/24/2010 12:03:17 AM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: Rashputin

He didn’t even mention the fact that one out of every three women in this country has murdered her own child.

Beating the Dems is nice, but nothing short of a revival can save this country.

35 posted on 10/24/2010 12:03:20 AM PDT by Truthsearcher
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To: Ol' Sparky

“As the author of the article points out, that isn’t going to solve the root cause of the decay of the nation.”

The root causes are social, IMO. They work out in the political but the real issue is cultural decay.

36 posted on 10/24/2010 12:04:26 AM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: Truthsearcher

“Beating the Dems is nice, but nothing short of a revival can save this country.”


37 posted on 10/24/2010 12:05:31 AM PDT by Psalm 144
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To: Rashputin

When I started to read this article, I was thinking that maybe the writer needs to get off of his anti depressants and off of his lazy a**.

But now I have to agree with him somewhat: We will soon have some of the control back, but that is not the only issue we face. Until people, yes that means you and I stand up for our morals and resist the liberal mentality that everything is someone else’s fault and start forcing the liberal mindset to pay the price, on a daily basis, this writer could end up being right.

In layman’s terms (so I can understand what I just wrote) Start making everyone around you take responsibility for their actions and mis-deeds. Including your own.

Most conservatives do, but not all, most liberals don’t, but some do,.

Stand up and make a stand in your every day life. Is the only way to make a difference.

Remember an eye for an eye.

Yes I am a true believer in capital punishment, from child molesters, rapists,to murders and any other violent crime. them.

38 posted on 10/24/2010 12:05:48 AM PDT by ggwyo
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To: TheThinker
We will defeat our enemies and in the end we will show them mercy. This country was created for THE PEOPLE, to be ruled by THE PEOPLE, for THE PEOPLE. WE are more powerful than any other nation before because the genius of the citizens of this country is always at work, not hampered and imprisoned by tyrannical leaders.

Right. The genius people will show mercy to the enemy.

Meanwhile, Imam Obama is busily importing 80.000 new muslims to the country, in the "National Interest".

Must be something in the air. Or the diet. Or the water. Or something...

39 posted on 10/24/2010 12:07:22 AM PDT by Hardraade (I want gigaton warheads now!!)
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To: Huck
I mean, I like our music much better. There's is all boingy and out of tune. And what the hell kind of cuisine has no melted cheese???

The intellect and creativity of the individual unleashed is limitless. That's why Marxists promote a culture of victimhood as it disempowers the individual by convincing him that he is helpless.

And I wouldn't want to live in a country with boring music and no melted cheese.

40 posted on 10/24/2010 12:07:33 AM PDT by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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