Cal Thomas: Nation faces four more years of decline

Great nations and proud empires have always collapsed from within before they were conquered from without.

President Obama's re-election mirrors the self-indulgent, greedy and envious nation we are rapidly becoming.

Pollsters Michael Barone and Dick Morris got it horribly wrong. Both predicted a 300 electoral-vote win for Romney. It was President Obama who reached that mark.

The central message coming out of the election seems to be that we are no longer the America of our Founders, or even the America that existed during World War II, which produced our "greatest generation."

Instead, the election validates the enormous cultural shift that has been taking place since the '60s when a countercultural bomb was dropped on society, producing moral fallout that continues to this day.

I am a child of the "greatest generation." My parents believed I should learn to take care of myself. They would have been too embarrassed to ask for help, if they needed it. If they did, they would turn to family first, or to a friend or neighbor. There were fewer social programs then, so people mostly did without, living only on what they truly needed. It said something about your character if you refused to strive toward self-sufficiency.

In 2012, nothing appears to embarrass us. Snooki. Honey Boo Boo. Reality TV wives. Look at what is paraded before us as normal. Oppose the new normal and it's you who are the anomaly.

Young people are taught in public schools, at major universities, on television and in movies, that every life choice is acceptable and every tenet open to interpretation. In politics, some proclaim it is right to oppose the successful and envy the rich to the point where they must be denigrated and penalized for their success with higher taxes. No one has to be personally responsible. No education; no motivation; no life plan? No problem. The government will take care of you.

One thing Romney might have done better is to have featured more people who had overcome government dependence by embracing the values he was promoting. Example trumps philosophy and success should trump victimhood. Inspiration follows perspiration. But in our "entitlement" age even that might have been impossible to overcome.

Other signs of cultural decay are accepted with little notice. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of babies born in America are born to unmarried women. Shrug. Abortion clinics continue to operate. Yawn.

There is no longer any cultural corrective because we have abandoned the concept of objective truth. Nothing is right or wrong, because that suggests a standard by which right and wrong might be defined. Personal choice is the new "standard," which is no standard at all. One might as well develop individual weights and measures.

Politicians bid for votes, making promises they can't keep to voters who will believe anything, as long as it appeals to greed, envy and their sense of entitlement. This undermines our culture. This fuels our massive debt, weakening our economic power and America's standing in the world.

Standards used to be defined and mostly accepted, if not always universally practiced. Many grew out of religious principles. According to a recent Pew Poll, a growing number of people, especially young people, no longer believe in God or religion. In this, and in our increasing flirtation with socialism, America is becoming more like Europe. Government seems to be replacing God as the only acceptable "deity."

So what is the answer? Should conservatives throw in the towel and say America, as passed down to us by previous generations, is no more? That was President Obama's announced goal four years ago when he promised to "fundamentally transform America." He's doing it and sufficient numbers of us appear happy to let him. When they realize what they have done, however, it may well be too late to reverse course.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist and author.

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Comments

Zack Lenhert's picture

"Politicians bid for votes,

"Politicians bid for votes, making promises they can't keep to voters who will believe anything, as long as it appeals to greed, envy and their sense of entitlement. This undermines our culture. This fuels our massive debt, weakening our economic power and America's standing in the world."

...First thing I thought of was tax-cuts.

I think your also wrong about Obama "fundamentally transforming America" and that it may be too late to reverse course. America elected Obama because we ALREADY HAVE fundamentally changed, you're right that its too late to go back now.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Cal; Doom and Gloom

Here they go again, selling the negativity and pessimism. When are people like Cal and his ilk going to start being positive with a vision of shared prosperity, instead of the sky of falling? This is exactly what turned people off, and are really tired of negative ads, rhetoric and the lies.
Americans proved it by the turnout to say to the GOP/TP, stop preventing Americans to vote, attacking women issues, terrorizing Latinos, jamming self righteous religious views, lying that tax breaks creates jobs and get off their high horse.

On the other side of it all, it may be the time for the GOP/TP to slide into the abyss and disappear.

Choice IS acceptable, Cal...

The re-election of President Obama averts our decline, Cal.

The greedy and self-indulgent (i.e. the Reaganisc 1 percenters) have been effectively CUT OFF...

The welfare bums who raid our People's U.S. Treasury (i.e. Bechtel, Halliburton, Exxon-Mobile, Lehman Brothers, Chase, Morganteau and their Rothchild (Redshield), Federal reserve controllers) have been CUT OFF...

Now, all we need to do is nationalize our currency, eliminate the bankster middlemen (i.e. the ponzi scheme of Wall Street, insurance, medical fraudsters) and hunt down, try and jail both Bush's, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Yoo, Feith and the rest of the neo-cons and we can begin to heal from the embarrassment .... and, personally, Snookie, would make a better judge than Harriet Meyers or Scalia in their case.

Why does this Journal even run such drivel and spin from Cal Thomas?

Your ilk have been completely rejected, sir. What you attempt to pander IS the very decay you allege ...

What is happening with the re-election of this President, my friend, is not cultural decay, but a cultural renaissance.

Get a life. We have.

Republican for Obama

RONALD RIML's picture

Cal Thomas

Whatever is there about Mitt Romney that could possibly remind us of the "Greatest Generation" of World War II that you mention?

When Mitt received his Draft Notice during Vietnam he escaped that by availing himself of Mormon Missionary activity for thirty months in France. There is no record that he ever achieved a single conversion.

After our Country was attacked on 9/11 - which resulted in more deaths than at Pearl Harbor, none of the five Romney sons joined America's Armed Forces to fight the forces of Terrorism. Yet in January, 1942, five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa enlisted in the Navy, all perishing when the cruiser U.S.S. Juneau was sunk.

Your Republican Party no longer bears any resemblance to the possible cultural example of which you speak, Mr. Thomas. It is, like you, a Fraud.

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