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America Is The Loser


Fred Lane

On a recent cover of Newsweek, below President Clinton's picture a huge headline proclaimed "How He Won." He did not win. America lost; our leaders have, for the past 30 years, demonstrated to the past two generations of Americans that lying, cheating, and immoral behaviour is acceptable and will be supported by our government.

Where will this lead us?

In the game of life, in the first inning back in the 70s, the American public found out that thousands of young Americans were sacrificed as a few corporations added to their profit margins. At that time, Americans also found out that our Executive Branch was corrupt, and stupid- a la Richard Nixon and the morons who ran the show. The overall consequence- the President was pardoned; the message came out loud and clear: the people in power do not have to obey the same law as everyone else.

Team America allowed a couple runs, but Americans have always had the resiliency to make a comeback. We did. The oil embargo brought us together; Jimmy Carter, lust and all, seemed like a good man and because of this, he was not accepted by the Washington beaurocracy filled with deceit and self-empowerment. Carter was blamed for double-digit inflation and high unemployment rates; Americans were more sceptical than ever; the team gave up a couple more runs but we were not worried. We had our heavy hitters coming up in the bottom of the fourth.

Ronald Reagan and the '80s saw the country's economic stagnation turn completely around. Now, we really did not care that our national debt soared out of sight. It was out of sight. Our best hitter was sick, but since his weak replacement hit a couple of long singles, it looked as though we were winning the game, but the loser was the future. Eventually, the replacement will strike out when that debt needs to be paid.

Reagan's administration also showed our young people how the government can't be trusted (Iran-Contra Scandal) when it counts to tell the truth. We had scored a couple runs but the opposition also scored.

President Bush continued Reagan's policies. The Cold War ended and the threat of nuclear annihilation was all but eliminated. We scored and everything looked good except there was that huge deficit.

Now, here comes President Clinton. A winner- Newsweek says. He continued the previous administration's policies and "it's the economy, stupid" won him the election. He is the most popular sitting president ever. Yet, Slick Willie made himself and the Presidency a worldwide laughing stock with numerous scandals and the final, resulting embarrassment of the Lewinsky Affair. In of itself, not a severe
disaster, all the Affair did was show the world that the people in power could lie, cheat, and morally bankrupt themselves and still remain in power as though nothing really bad had happened. Of course, a man of real integrity would have resigned, but that will not happen in a country that has lost track of what
integrity means.

Now going into the bottom of the ninth inning, America is only down by a 4-3 tally. Because baseball does not have a clock, we believe we still have a chance.

I am not a doomsayer. The facts are that for three decades all American children have grown up with the knowledge that most of our government leaders have no sense of morality or integrity. When Clinton's scandal escalated, many more of our leaders also went public with their once private, now public, mistakes. It is not only our President who cannot live by a standard of decency; amazingly, many of our other leaders have skeletons lurking in the closet.

Will the American people stand up for America when the going gets tough?

No- Why should they?

Many of those children who grew up in the '70s learning that the Vietnam was fought over profit are now adults. Most Americans cannot stomach their political leaders. The demise of our sports heroes is another consequence to the losing American team.

Americans growing up in the '80s and '90s with their parents having a distrustful, cynical view of America and the constitution will have even more distrust, more hatred. Where will that take us?

All it will take is a situation in which America has to support the ideals behind the constitution and follow the government's leaders- an economic collapse for example. In the '30s, Americans were willing to sacrifice to save the government and themselves. Today, that will not happen. When the coming economic
crisis comes, the majority of the people will not follow our government; the Domino Effect will race through the entire country and either the right or left wing elements will take control. All their leaders will have to do is promise everything and deliver food on their plates and gas in their tanks. Freedom will be

Soon Team America will be taking its bats in the ninth inning. It is time for someone to step forward, but those people have long been silenced. Thus, Team America will lose the game in the bottom of the ninth, not with a courageous comeback with Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge up "San Juan Hill." Instead, the last inning will consist of a weak groundout to second, a futile fly ball to the third baseman, and a checked swing strikeout to end the game. Clinton did not win. He simply was one in a long line of losers who happened to lead America to last place. 

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