“Why We Can’t”

There’re many things we can’t do and as many reasons why we can’t.

The United States is struggling with issues that we were leaders in not so many years ago and we don’t know how to fix them, or how to regain our status.

We’re a country in disarray, floundering: economically, politically, educationally, medically, and scientifically. We’re also deficient in humanity, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

True, globalization has dramatically changed the way we deal with some aspects of our lives collectively and personally. But our problems can only partially be blamed on globalization.

These struggles can be fixed — must be fixed — internally: locally, regionally, and nationally. But there seems to be little ability or will to do that.

In some areas of our dysfunction we have time, but there are so many things that need our attention. The longer we wait the more difficult it becomes to find reasonable solutions.

Until we acknowledge our mistakes, missteps, and failures there is little hope of actual recovery — we will continue to flounder oblivious to the damage our decline is causing domestically and globally.

Profoundly stuck on the idea that we, as Americans, are exceptional we ignore what we’re becoming afraid to look at how we got here. We are exceptional and, in the past, have risen to great heights and accomplished extraordinary things. But that was the past and what we now view as exceptionalism is less by comparison.

And, ironically, some of those that believe we are exceptional are the reason we are not!

The degeneration of four core principles are at the heart of our societal failures. As stated earlier, those principles: humanity, honest, integrity, and responsibility have eroded over time and a desensitized population fails to see how this erosion has diminished our values and with it our stature.

This erosion has led to our subsequent descent in at least five areas of previous global leadership.

Like previous empires — powerful sovereignties — we have dismantled our dominance through a narcissistic view of our superiority.

Our ascendancy to great power was a function of our democracy; a function of support, inclusion, compassion, selflessness, and hard work. It was a collective rise to the top. A bond that strengthened in times of duress.

Somewhere along the way we lost our purpose. We lost our vision. Lost our humanity. Our ability to combine our efforts to accomplish great things. Those capabilities have been supplanted by greed, selfishness, arrogance, and entitlement — none of which has made our great country stronger.

Along with this 30 year decline in humanity there has been significant decay in honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

In this series of articles we’ll examine the deterioration in our leadership, our failures in our economy, politics, education, medicine, and the sciences and how it affects the lives of all Americans.

We can regain our dominance in the world, our leadership through example, and our strength through humility. But it will take hard work and cooperation.

It was embarrassing to watch brash Republican candidates proclaim American exceptionalism when, in fact, none of them were exceptional. None of them were even close to exceptional.

Intelligent Americans took exception to the entirety of the group, recognizing that they were, collectively, representative of our decline.

We are capable of a return to greatness but to do so we need better ideas, smarter people, better leaders with a better understanding of what it means to be an American.

We need to regain the trust and respect the world once felt for America and that requires leadership.

And leadership requires humanity, honesty, integrity, and responsibility!

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