Everything is upside-down. Do you work for a living? If so, you’re punished. Are you an entrepreneur? You’re punished, and you’re going to be punished more severely, too. Are you a lay-about? No problem. You qualify for earned income tax credits, welfare, and food-stamps. You will be rewarded for your ignorance, your sloth, and your commitment to ride through life on your neighbors’ backs. Do you follow the rules? Pay your taxes? Did you wait until, oh my, marriage before you began having children? Did you and your spouse restrain your reproduction in the name of not falling into poverty? Too bad! While you’ve been frugal, others have not, and you’re going to pay for their children too! Did you serve in the Army? Earn those college benefits by doing your nation’s bidding? That’s too bad. You could have merely gone on the public dole, taken endless student loans and Pell Grants, and gotten the same thing without the slightest chance you might get your ass shot off in some hell-hole halfway around the globe building fake democracies. No? You don’t like that? This is what we have permitted to happen: Doing right is punished, but doing wrong is rewarded. The whole damned thing is upside-down. Welcome to inverted America.
Politicians lie. There’s news! What you may not realize is that the more shamelessly they lie, the more apt they are to succeed, where success is measured by trip after trip back to Washington DC. If they tell the truth, they won’t be tolerated by a nation of people who enjoy the sweet lies more than the truth. Politicians who spend the nation into oblivion are rewarded with additional terms, while those who warn of this impending disaster are sent packing because they might dare to vote for measures to stop the bleeding. We’ve now arrived in a situation in which it is so bad, and so insurmountable that even our somewhat more sober public officials are beginning to pretend it doesn’t matter. A century ago, the American people were astonished by the reckless spending of some public officials. Now, some notice, but not enough to matter much, as their fellow citizens join the chant for more.
What has happened in America is that we have abandoned morality, but I do not mean only the morality prescribed by commandments that begin with “Thou Shalt not…” I mean also the morality made plain by such simple wisdom as “a penny saved is a penny earned.” I mean such trivial matters as associating one’s material wealth to one’s actual efforts. One of the biggest frauds I see on a day-to-day basis is the self-delusional proposition of those who live so far beyond their means that they spend the entirety of their life juggling debt payments. Big house, really fancy car, nice clothes, expensive jewelry, and all the trappings of success, only, what have so many forgotten? Oh yes, the “success” part. Too many people have adopted the tired, self-defeating delusion that “if only I can look like a million bucks, I will be worth one million dollars.”
This basic disrespect for the law of causality traditionally pervaded only the left, and the perfectly insane, or those well under twenty-five. It’s a petulantly childish wish to be able to have things without having earned them, but when one decides one can impose the costs of that wish on others through force of government, an adult becomes a thief and a murderer. If you examine what our culture has become, and how it has begun its devolution, from the pinnacles of human achievement toward the mires of ancient miseries, you, the rational among us, ought to know the cause. There can be no reversal of cause and effect, just as one may not put the cart before the horse in expectation of locomotion. The universe simply does not work that way, despite our most foolish attempts to pretend to ourselves that it may.
Sunday evening, I was baffled, nay, astonished to read that there are people who actually expect to benefit from Obama-care. I cannot conceive of the fool who might convince himself of such a thing, except that there are many who do. They expect to benefit precisely because America has adopted an inverted morality, where virtue(s) is punished, and vice is rewarded. Those who practice any vice are treated as victims. It calls to mind the case of the Menendez brothers, on trial for the murder of their parents. Their defense team painted them as poor, tortured souls who were now orphaned, while every sensible person in the country screamed at their televisions: “But THEY MURDERED their parents!” This tendency among many to let others off the hook for their poor choices must stop. It simply must. The rest of us are being held to pay for these bad decisions, and sadly, there exists some number of us who are willing to pay on the basis of the unspoken proposition that we might one day permit ourselves to act with equal irresponsibility.
This is not the nation of our founders, and if this is what has become of the United States, perhaps we are better off if it dies. There are too many who refuse to see that which is before them. They’re too busy pretending up is down and down is up to notice that the country is sinking. The only hope this country has is that those remaining who do not accept an inverted morality begin to speak up. It may not be possible to reverse at this late date, but if it can be, it will only be done by those able to speak the unvarnished, heretofore unspeakable truth of America in the 21st century: Our country is dying of a terminal cancer, and its cure is reason. Effects follow causes, and we should begin to reaffirm that relationship.