July 25, 2021

Will We Answer the Wake-Up Call Before our Country Is Completely Destroyed?

It’s sort of shocking that a series of left-wing riots around the nation followed by a right-wing riot at our Capitol building haven’t caused much self-reflection among the policymakers in Washington. It’s convenient to think this is just some tiny group of crazies or this is all going to blow over. We have been thinking that way for years now. It’s not true. Our once-great country is in a huge slide. Too many fellow citizens are hurting. Too many communities around the country are shells of their former vibrant selves. All this is a screaming wake-up call for change, yet we don’t have any serious efforts underway to reform our system.

The most telling data point on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots was published this week by The Washington Post. Nearly 60% of the people charged with crimes in the riots had a history of serious financial troubles, including bad debts, bankruptcies, unpaid taxes, evictions and foreclosures. Many of these people were once responsible professionals, and few had violent criminal backgrounds. What happened? That seems like the question we should all be asking, but nobody is.

In the aftermath of the horrible events that day, the media has focused intently on the QAnon conspiracy theory and the role of groups such as the Proud Boys. Those are worthy pursuits, but they are not actually the central challenge we face as a country. We have always had extremists of various persuasions, and we always will. The real question is why so many normal Americans are buying in. That question likely comes down to economics. When people feel like they have lost out economically — and especially when they feel like their future opportunities are limited — they lose faith in our system. That’s clearly what we are facing now. But it’s a lot easier for the media and those in power to pin the whole thing on QAnon craziness, and that’s what they are doing.

A New York Times investigation into court records found only 13 rioters with clear ties to QAnon. That means economic hardship was five times more prevalent than QAnon affiliation among those arrested at the Capitol. We are chasing for the easy answer because the real problem is too difficult to address.

What to do about the economic bifurcation of our country is a hard question. Our capitalist system has produced amazing growth and a standard of living that is still head and shoulders above most of the world. We have also enjoyed a multidecade period of relative peace and tranquility that is rare by historical standards. We should be really careful before making changes. Yet something is clearly off. Our system is no longer working for huge swaths of our country. Our corporate elite are thriving like never before, while a bunch of Americans are financially stagnant, or worse. It’s just not sustainable.

Washington, contrary to many people’s beliefs, is full of a lot of very decent and talented people who try to do the right thing (with some exceptions, of course). The problem is Washington has collectively and increasingly grown out of touch with much of America. On the Republican side, especially — the side I know best — the general presumption has been that policies that benefit business are policies that benefit America. These policies generally promote economic growth by creating jobs and wealth. It’s a sound idea. But what happens when large businesses become less American and more global? What happens when business growth or profit is more dependent on a market like China’s than on our own? Do the policies that help businesses thrive in China necessarily benefit everyday Americans? These are questions we have not adequately addressed.

These questions have become more urgent as Washington has become more defined by the needs of the financial and multinational companies that dominate it. With the majority of those leaving Congress, and the vast majority of highly influential senior congressional staff, now going into this booming influence industry, it’s reasonable to ask whether public service is becoming, for many, just a tryout for a lucrative career in the influence business. We are well past the days when John Adams and George Washington returned home to their farms. Nobody leaves any more. It’s a real problem.

Solving these problems is not easy. Hasty solutions may do more harm than good. We still have a lot to lose. But if anyone doesn’t see these past few years, and especially these past few months, as an urgent wake-up call, then it’s not clear they ever will — certainly not before it’s too late.

For starters, we need to face the reality that Washington policy is too tied to multinational corporate interests and too divorced from everyday American realities. The opioid crisis completely ravaged huge swaths of our country before anyone in power even took notice. That doesn’t happen in a well-functioning political system. It’s easy to make fun of the crazies — and there were a lot of them at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — but we should instead use this wake-up call to look inwardly at our government and how it can better serve the needs of regular Americans.

Neil Patel co-founded The Daily Caller, one of America’s fastest-growing online news outlets, which regularly breaks news and distributes it to over 15 million monthly readers. Patel also co-founded The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit news company that trains journalists, produces fact-checks and conducts longer-term investigative reporting. The Daily Caller News Foundation licenses its content free of charge to over 300 news outlets, reaching potentially hundreds of millions of people per month. To find out more about Neil Patel and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

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26 Responses

  1. BIDEN IS NOT I REPEAT IS NOT A LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT-HE NEEDS TO GO-
    PELOSI REALLY NEEDS TO GO-
    I AM A NURSE OF FOURTY YEARS AND WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE DEMOS IS ASTONISHING.
    THEY ARE A DISGRACE TO OUR COUNTRY AND HAVE DONE ZERO ON THE STIMULUS –
    THEY ARE BUSY WITH A FAKE COURT-IT HURTS ME WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GOING THRU WITH THESE IDIOTS.ALOT OF THESE DEMOS BELONG IN JAIL.I CAN NAME EVERYONE.
    SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING……………………………………………………….

    1. agree totally. jo is out to lunch if he even knows what that is. We must kick the donkeys out of power, theyre destroying our country. What a DESPICABLE bunch of SNAKES: They dont deserve the USA !

    2. You are absolutely right and those now in power better not get to comfortable I think things will change once spring arrives

      1. We can only hope and pray !!!!! God is still watching from above, thankfully !!!!!! Biden is following Obama’s agenda —-remember he is behind the curtain behind Biden. Biden would not even know what to do without him.

  2. The only way we the people can save our country from being DESTROYED is to get all of these crooked democrats out of all offices and hold them accountable. Put Trump back in office. Biden, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer are carrying out Obama’s and Soros plan to destroy America and make in a uncontrolled third world country

  3. I totally agree. There is no question that we have trusted our “leadership” far too long. Ronald Reagan, and then Donald Trump have tried to turn this around, but there are too many deep state supporters embedded in our system. We said “drain the swamp” but never followed through. We have trusted those we’ve elected and they have done nothing for the country, only for themselves. They are there to support their party members and financial backers, while they steal from us with their empty promises. We need major change and it has to start with us. This is our country….not theirs….don’t let them have it.

  4. This is the lefts plan all along. They’re following George Soros guidance. Break the country down and rebuild like he wants. Time for Soros and the rest to pay the piper. Put them behind bars!!

  5. First, watch the comments about wanting Democrats to die. Those loonies will take you seriously, or claim they do, and cause you trouble. The answer goes far beyond just the next election. We saw what happened this last election. We will never have a fair election without fixing election integrity, and the Democrats will do everything they can to stop that. We need a fair election, but we really need a Convention of States to add amendments for election integrity, including voter ID, voting by citizens only, and strictly controlled use of absentee voting. We need an amendment to get rid of professional politicians by adding term limits for every member of Congress, both House and Senate. And we need an amendment to control the benefits those in Congress receive, which they have voted on for themselves (just slightly self-serving), like a life-time pension after only one term, their own health care system different from what we have to use, and other such perks. They should be there to serve the citizens who elected them, period.

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