Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville said, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”
What does it mean to be good?
In my mind it means we are governed by Judeo / Christian values and we stick to the rules. We have a government of laws, not men and no man is above the law.
America was the place to take a chance, build a business, a family, a life because it was governed by laws. There were rules and the rules were enforced. In other countries you might labor and sacrifice for decades to build up a business, only to see the government nationalize it “For the greater good”. But America wasn’t like that. There were laws to protect you and a written Constitution to back up those laws. The constitution limited the power of the government. It was unheard of!
America allowed people to take risks and prosper and the risk takers, the winners, the entrepreneurs came here. They built companies and, in so doing, created wealth and prosperity for millions of other people.
Recently, however, America has changed. It is no longer “good”. Certain people are now above the law. Congress exempts itself from the laws it forces the rest of us to live under. Federal and local law enforcement agencies “Seize” money and property and innocent people have to prove they deserve it to get it back. The wealthy and connected go free. While the nation’s premier law enforcement agency hides evidence allowing the innocent to go to jail. The Clintons, Kennedys, Duponts, actors and celebrities never pay for their crimes.
One class of people is permitted to riot, burn and murder and they go free. Another class of people engages in a few hours of peaceful protest and they spend months in solitary confinement without a trial.
It used to be that each branch of government knew its limitations and would not dare to try and do something that was not specifically written in the constitution. Now we have an executive who has the attitude of “What are you going to do about it?” They create powers that don’t exist (Vaccination mandates) and ignore duties spelled out in the constitution (Enforce the boarders).
Entire cities have decided to stop enforcing property laws and allow wholesale theft from retail businesses. Then the cities are surprised when the businesses – the makers of prosperity – leave. Worse yet, they hurl epithets at them as they leave calling them “Greedy capitalists”. Yet who could blame them? They tried to play by the rules. The rules said they paid taxes and the city protected them from thieves. Now the city says; “No protection, but you still have to pay taxes”.
Who would build a business in a country where it can all be destroyed or stolen tomorrow and there is no recourse? Who would invest when the government is talking about taking your investments in the name of “Fairness” or “Equity”? Right now there are elected politicians who want to take your pension, IRA and 401K because other people don’t have one. Just last month, the current administration talked about “Taxing unrealized capital gains”. That means: If you buy stock or a home or anything and the value increases, you owe taxes on the increase in value. Even if you have not sold a share of stock or your home. the feds want their cut.
All of these ideas, as stupid as they sound, create uncertainty and that kills investment.
America is no longer good. In a misguided attempt to try to atone for wrongs that may have been done hundreds of years ago, some Americans are destroying everything it ever stood for. (Others are doing it out of sheer greed.) Our constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written and is the blueprint for a prosperous nation – a nation of laws. John Adams observed that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We are no longer moral. America is no longer good and unless we change it back, the future will not be pretty.