Mourning In America by Lowell Ponte

1.5.16 – President Ronald Reagan reawakened us to morning in America, an era of optimism that produced a quarter-century of prosperity and success.

President Barack Obama’s seven years, by contrast, have produced mourning in America and a widespread pessimistic feeling of loss, despair and grief.

Millions now feel that something essential to our success and well-being has died here – that we are sad witnesses to the death of the American Dream.

A new poll published January 5 by Esquire Magazine and NBC News finds that 52 percent of Americans now believe that the American Dream was “Once True but Not Anymore.” Another 11 percent now believe that it “Never Held True.”

Sixty-three percent of those interviewed in this poll no longer believe in the American Dream of rugged individualism, personal freedom and responsibility, the right to set your own course in life and to keep the fruits of your efforts in a land where small government allows individuals to achieve their highest potential.

If nearly two-thirds of us have lost faith in this faith-based dream, is the America of our Founders and Framers doomed soon to die and disappear?

An alternative vision has for a century been undermining our traditional values and ideals, as Craig R. Smith and I explore in our latest book We Have Seen The Future And It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream.

The Progressive Dream, a collectivist ideology that emerged from the French Revolution and European Romantic Movement two centuries ago, is opposed to individualism, Judeo-Christian values, and free market economics.

Progressivism views people and nations as groups to be led by a ruling elite of superior beings who by replacing religion and individual freedom with Big Government and Big Science can create utopia, a human-made heaven on Earth.

In Europe, Progressivism metastasized into Socialism, Communism, Naziism, Fascism and today’s welfare states. In the United States its banner today is carried by President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates such as self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises that if elected she will “topple” the top 1 percent of earners in America.

The Progressive Dream in all its small variations believes above all that government should be paternalistic and, therefore, that the people should be infantilized and utterly dependent on Big Government.

Truth in labeling would rename this ideology the Regressive Dream, because in all its forms it would create not progress or prosperity but the squalid, impoverished collectivism that was Europe and much of the rest of the world during the Dark Ages.

This is, to a shocking degree, what seven years of President Obama have produced. He and his comrades have driven America $20 Trillion into debt to enrich a few cronies and stimulate anemic economic growth of less than 2 percent as we teeter on the cliff-edge of another Great Recession or Depression.

America’s non-employment rate is today the worst since another Progressive President Jimmy Carter’s economic malaise of 28 years ago, the fetid quicksand of which America escaped by electing Ronald Reagan in 1980.

In 2016 we face such a choice again. Will America vote to give Obamalaise four more years of Progressive Dreaming with Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Sanders? Or will we vote to return to optimism, freedom and the American Dream?