“There are three tasks,” the renowned historian Paul Johnson wrote, “which any government must perform: external security, internal order and maintenance of an honest currency.” The United States is failing at all three tasks.
Concerning security, the 2021 chaotic desertion of Afghanistan undermined America’s global credibility and military status. Leading NATO in giving arms to Ukraine brought partial redemption. However, this is eroding as the war drags on and President Biden refuses to send offensive weapons because he openly fears Putin. In the Middle East, America’s influence is crumbling. China negotiated a resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran sponsors repeated missile attacks upon U.S. ground forces and, in acts of defiant piracy, has seized two oil supertankers. Led by Saudi Arabia, the Arab League readmitted the bloody Syrian regime. While China ratchets up pressure upon Taiwan, the administration’s budget for our navy and for the military in general does not keep pace with the inflation caused by the administration’s massive transfer payments.
Concerning internal order, social media has stunted the natural social interactions of our adolescents and spawned spiteful divisiveness among the adult population. Crime in most cities is both pervasive and brazen. More 100,000 Americans die annually from the fentanyl entering via the open southern border, along with two million illegal immigrants. The Democratic Party believes the swelling Hispanic vote will eventually insure permanent majority rule by the Democrats. So, the human flood will continue unabated as long as President Biden is in office. He has based his reelection upon arguing that anyone voting for Trump is an extremist. Trump responds in kind, touting “I am your retribution.” Both our leading politicians are driving Americans farther apart.
The third task of government is “maintenance of an honest currency.” No reasonable observer can repute honesty to the crass selfishness of the administration and the Congress. It is impossible to sustain today’s generous social security, health benefits, multitudinous transfer payments, and the military without devaluing the dollar and insuring roughly four percent inflation for the next decade. With productivity growth of an anemic one percent versus inflation at four percent, every year the situation worsens.
Our profligacy has bequeathed to our grandchildren a crushing debt burden. The Roman Empire endured for 500 years. It disintegrated when its currency depreciation made it worthless to the legions. The soldiers walked off the job and the authority of Rome collapsed along with its borders.
To sum up: Government’s three basic tasks of external security, internal order, and maintenance of an honest currency are intertwined. Currently, America is failing at all three tasks. Facts, however, don’t change attitudes. The attitudes in our beloved country are internally poisonous. The forthcoming election is not about moving our country forward; it is about demonizing the opponent. This election is all about yelling, “The other guy is worse than I am!”