Making America Optimistic Again

America is a mess. City streets are in flames, police are routinely shot at, terrorists are spreading themselves across the heartland, the government is saddled with unsustainable debt, taxes and spending keep going up, and there’s little or no real economic growth to show for it all.

Americans are not happy about the candidates in the upcoming presidential election. While this is often true, it’s truer this year than ever before. In recent polls, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton seems able to muster up support from even 50 percent of the population. People are dour, not just about politics but about a lot of things. Politics just brings it out, especially in a presidential election year.

What will make Americans optimistic again?

The determining factors in a presidential election used to be peace and prosperity. Peace and prosperity are rational measurements of well-being, from a social-political perspective. The rest is up to us, as individuals, to figure out what makes us happy and go after it. But peace and prosperity are two things government can and must provide and foster, if we’re to have any realistic chance at happiness.

What causes prosperity? Let’s get real. Government does not create economic growth, not directly. Only efficient and enterprising individuals and businesses can generate economic growth. Government does uphold contracts and require people to respect the property of one another. Without government’s ability and willingness to prosecute criminals, society would break down. In fact, that’s what we currently see happening. Government is doing a terrible job of protecting us from criminals such as terrorists and police-killers. It undermines confidence not just in government, but in economic and emotional stability to know that cities are starting to systematically fall apart as racist cop-killers and anti-Western terrorists slowly annihilate everything in their paths.

People like to scream that Donald Trump is causing all these problems. But keep in mind that the Republican candidate for president always gets the blame for everything going wrong. If hapless Mitt Romney or poor Jeb Bush were running in Donald Trump’s place, each would be called fascists and narcissists just like Donald Trump is now. The media is overwhelmingly biased in favor of a Democratic president and a return to a Democratic Congress. That’s why the media is so negative. Negativity is a requirement to generate more socialism, even when the socialists are already in charge, as Obama and company have been for the last 8 years.

When Democrats are in charge, the bulk of the media blames Republicans for most problems. When Republicans are in charge, the media blames Republicans for most problems. Since nothing gets better and actually a lot of things are getting a whole lot worse quite fast, somebody has to get the blame. The bulk of the media blames Republicans, and Donald Trump in particular. But even if Hillary Clinton wins, those problems will still be there, and they will likely become worse, since her policies will be the very same ones which got us to this point.

Americans have to stop expecting government — or others — to take care of their problems, and learn to start taking care of themselves. If you’re well off and are concerned about the less well off, you’re totally free to start a charity. While not all charities are great, even a mediocre private charity on its worst day does more good than a government agency on its best. Until or unless a majority stop expecting government to make their lives happier, they will continue to get corrupt people in charge. Why? Because it’s only corrupt, power-lusting control freaks who wish to control other people’s lives. Nice, reasonable people don’t want to control others’ lives, and don’t wish to get involved in government other than to go after violent or fraudulent criminals.

If you don’t like Hillary Clinton — and a number of Democrats have confided in me that they don’t — then why don’t you stop to ask yourself, “What are we expecting of government?” The ugly spectacle of Hillary Clinton is what you get when you expect wrong, unjust and impossible things.

The scary part about today is not only that government is doing so many things it should not be doing, with $20 trillion in debt and only mediocre economic growth to show for it. The scary part is that government is now failing to do the things we desperately need it to do — i.e., protect us from violent crime, whether from terrorists or police-shooting criminals.

No matter how much we expand government to provide free college tuition, more free health care, endless subsidies/favors to politically connected companies and all the rest, none of that will matter at all once civilization as we know it breaks down. And if you think taking guns away from peaceful, law-abiding people who only worry about defending themselves will resolve anything, you’re sadly mistaken. Criminals and terrorists want a disarmed citizenry, just like they want to mow down police officers and terrorize us in our private homes and businesses. They want good guys weaker. This is what makes them bad guys.

Human happiness is up to individual human beings to find and maintain. Government will never do it. But government can provide the setting for peace and prosperity which, for a long time, made America a great and happy, healthy place to live. We still have a lot going for us. But we could lose it all, and we are progressively losing it now. Instead of pointing fingers of blame solely at admittedly bad politicians, we have to start looking at ourselves. If we don’t change our expections of government, and what it can or cannot provide, the problems will only get a whole lot worse.

Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael  Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1

Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here!