History can tell us a lot. But most of the time we look at and read history as a story about "others." And, of course, it is. But...they were human beings, as are we. They didn't have the technological advances that we enjoy, but they were advances far beyond those who went before. The Greeks did amazing things and discovered much. The Romans went even further, as life became a bit more complicated, but showed what could be done with public utilities and expanding governance.
One wonders how future civilizations will look upon America. My suspicion is that we will fade nicely into the amalgam of civilizations that rose on achievement and declined on mediocrity.
Do you wish to argue the point? Fine. Argue away.
This country rose above all others on the face of the world at its time because it was a meritocracy. For many reasons, there was no consideration for those not able to perform or survive; rewards for those who survived were just that...survival. And as time went on, added to that were riches and power. The rule was: perform or die. Those unlucky or not able died; they did not procreate. Only the genes of those who were survivors duplicated. And the nation prospered. Just as the Greeks and the Romans prospered.
But they...and America...over time changed. Care was given to those who did not perform. Lives were saved who otherwise would have perished. And many of these people became a drain on the resources of society. And even more damaging, their attitudes and needs became direction for the nation. Attitudes were changed, resources were re-allocated. Those who achieved were disrespected and became the accused. Achievement was discounted...and no longer encouraged. There were no longer to be any winners or losers.
Together with a declining responsiveness of government to the individual, people came to realize the futility of "trying" and came to accept the idea of "entitlement," without the slightest sign of embarrassment or guilt at receiving a living that was not earned.
That is where we are today. Some of us older people, who can remember the past and honor what our parents and those who came before them, try to get attention...but no one listens. After all, what we propose is to honor an existence that involves consequences and responsibility, while the current government offers ease of existence, lack of guilt to go with lack of effort. And an increasing number of citizens and inhabitants of this country no longer care about self-worth or effort. And...given the situation...can you blame them?
But it saddens me that once I die, only future historians will even recognize the ongoing pattern...and I bet their generations will be just as blind to their own fall.