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Can America Turn It Around?

History proves we can, but we are saddled by a new caveat. (This is Part One of a three-part series.)

by
Matt Patterson

Bio

January 20, 2012 - 12:00 am
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We can say from the example of Ronald Reagan that one person can make a tremendous difference and that economies can turn around, dramatically and for the better. However, two things must be remembered:

1. Reagan was an exceptional leader, the kind that comes around once a century, if that. He uniquely combined an optimistic temperament with a deep understanding of the defining issue of his day (communism). His policies, both economic and military, were philosophically sound and competently executed.

It would be an understatement to say that there is no one of such caliber among our political class today — left or right — nor does there appear to be one waiting in the wings.

2. The American people were a different breed back in 1980. Since that time, three decades of liberal assault on American traditions — in our schools and media — combined with wave after wave of illegal immigration have eroded the common bonds of affection among our citizenry, what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “consanguinity” in the Declaration of Independence.

Can America turn it around? Yes. Does the nation possess the requisite will and unity of purpose that would allow an effective and sagacious leader to make the tough decisions necessary to pull us from the brink?

We shall examine this question in part 2.

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Matt Patterson is the Warren Brookes Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and senior editor at the Capital Research Center.
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