By Bill O'Reilly
According to a new poll from The Hill newspaper, 69 percent of Americans believe the nation is in decline, and an astounding 83 percent are now worried about the country's future. The decline number includes 47 percent of Democrats, which is especially bad news for Barack Obama.
"Talking Points" believes the folks are right again. We are in decline. But why?
The answer is the decline in self-reliance. If you understand history, you know that America was founded on the independent principles of honor and hard work. After we achieved independence from England, the federal and state governments basically stepped aside allowing businesses and communities to grow without much interference. If you failed, there was no safety net. You were on your own. And so the folks became strong out of self-preservation.
The foundation of America's growing power was a code of conduct based on honest labor and neighborly charity. We looked out for each other, but did not tolerate cowardice or narcissism. Judeo-Christian philosophy dominated the public square.
The Germans and Japanese tested America in the 1940s and found out exactly what our fathers and grandfathers were made of. That war united the country and brought us a common purpose.
But in the late 1960s, the winds of change swept in. The Vietnam War divided us and led to a suspicion of authority and purpose. No longer was America seen as a noble nation by many of its own citizens. The war brought enormous change. Out went the baby with the bathwater, in came drugs, free love and doing your own thing no matter what the social consequence.
Since then, America has evolved into a country of two minds. Self-reliance remains the key to economic success, but for those who don't want to compete in the marketplace, or simply can't, the federal government has become their lifeblood. The collapse of the family has led to massive entitlement spending on children and single mothers. In addition, the liberal belief that the feds have a moral obligation to provide for the have-nots has led to massive debt. That, in turn, has weakened our economy and robbed America of power, thus the decline.
President Obama and to lesser extents Presidents Bush and Clinton before him believed in imposing social and worldwide justice using the U.S. Treasury. But the American worker cannot keep up with the tax burden that imposes, so now we're in trouble.
The USA needs a philosophy overhaul. We have to get back to self-reliance and away from the nanny state. We can't remain dominant in the world unless we do that.
Imposing discipline on the federal government will be difficult, and many liberal Americans will scream all day long. But if it is not done, our decline will become permanent.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Tuesday morning I appeared on the "Today" show, interviewed by a guy I've known for decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: You've written this new book called "Killing Lincoln."
O'REILLY: And you didn't even read it, Lauer.
LAUER: I haven't read it yet.
O'REILLY: Because you're in bed at 5 in the afternoon.
LAUER: Because I'm reading things for other guests, as well. But I'm going to get the title out here for you, OK, because I know it's a best-seller. I know you haven't mentioned it on your show yet. "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever."
LAUER: Is there a Lincoln out there right now running for president?
O'REILLY: I hope so. That's why I wrote the book because we need leadership in this country, and Abraham Lincoln is the gold standard, the best American president ever. But I wanted people to know in a very accessible way. It's not some pinhead-y book. You can actually read it. I'll send you audio so you can listen to it, Lauer.
LAUER: Thank you.
O'REILLY: He goes to bed at five. He's old. It's 5 in the afternoon, he's in bed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Who's the pinhead there? You make the call. Maybe we're both patriots.