As I see it, when President Obama leaves office in three years, he will have exhausted whatever measure of greatness and common purpose America once had.

Sometime in those next three years, we will bottom out as a nation. No midterm shift in partisan political fortunes will prevent that collapse, nor will such a shift, in and of itself, restore the nation after the collapse occurs.

Neither reasoned argument nor new policies will serve to purge the electorate of the dysfunctional realities it has come to accept as norms.

We subsidize mothers to parent alone. (“Parent” becomes the noun that lost its plural.) Open borders become an immigration policy. Losing your job means freedom from “job lock”— a side benefit of Obamacare. New employees are liabilities, not engines of expansion. College degrees generate financial bondage and a need to move back home. Law-abiding Americans are a danger to be controlled, like some chemical spill. Lying to Congress and taking the Fifth become part of a bureaucrat’s job description. Gasoline soars past $3.50 a gallon. Marriages form in bewildering configurations of convenience.

Those realities — and others — represent liberalism’s crowning achievements. When the nation’s economy and society finish buckling under their load, the present division regarding the value of those realities will end.

We will all feel the effect of their failure together. The recovery survivors craft for themselves will grow from that sad source of new national consensus. Suffering together for our foolishness, we may rediscover the old ways of wisdom.

Leonard Hoy, Greenwood

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