The royal wedding was watched by more than 2 billion people. Prince William and Kate Middleton seem truly in love, in stark contrast to the last royal marriage where it became apparent that Diana’s love for Charles was a one-way street.
Hopes are high that this royal couple will be more successful, since they are destined to be the future King and Queen of England.
As the world watches the pomp and circumstance, they will be reminded of the rich history of a people who changed the world.
But America’s leaders would be wise to take a history lesson from Britain’s more recent past to avoid becoming what England is — a nation in decline. A shadow of its former self, it is a country known more for pageantry and traditions than a meaningful place on the world stage.
The sun never set on the British Empire, and while that showcased a pioneering spirit, England became vastly overextended. The blood and treasure expended to maintain the Empire became too great, and the Crown’s holdings crumbled.
Forced to look inward, it did all the wrong things. England’s leaders bought into quasi-socialism to give them a sense of security, but their national prestige evaporated after massive taxation and runaway spending on social programs. This starved the military, killed entrepreneurship, and fostered an entitlement mentality.
Legendary Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher noted that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. In Britain’s case, uncontrolled culture-killing immigration became rampant because the government needed bodies to prop up its socialist Ponzi scheme.
It flung its doors wide open, resulting in many immigrants whose loyalties were decidedly non-British. Some lived off the dole, with no incentive to become productive and make their new country better, courtesy of Brits who actually put in a hard day’s work.
Others took advantage of the system to recruit terrorists hellbent on destroying the West, resulting in deadly attacks on English soil. But rather than fight the real threat, Britain’s responses were meaningless, politically correct measures which wiped away citizens’ privacy and dignity.
Political correctness was actively encouraged, and forced multiculturalism, hand-in-hand with open borders, enabled immigrants to eschew assimilation. The erosion of the indigenous culture created massive social unrest when the disparate cultures ultimately clashed.
Most significantly, Britain lost its hold on the world’s reserve currency, the all-important pricing unit for products traded on the global market. The country with reserve currency status enjoys immense economic benefits, so when lost, repercussions are severe. And it becomes lost when the world’s faith in that nation’s economy is shaken.
Every decade since World War I has seen Britain's culture and world standing whittle away. Could the same happen to America?
The United States has not seen that same decline, but the seeds of dependency sown during the New Deal and Great Society have grown deep roots that threaten to crumble the American foundation.
- Social Security and Medicare are on the path to bankruptcy. The deficit is greater than the entire budget of just a few years ago, and interest payments on our national debt account for a huge percentage of tax revenue. And America abandoned its manufacturing base, betting on an unsustainable service economy, thus outsourcing its future.
- The coddling of millions of illegal immigrants continues to erode faith in the rule of law, while breaking the backs of taxpayers forced to pay billions to accommodate them.
- Prospects for energy independence grow dimmer, while the nation’s biggest competitors — some say adversaries — forge ahead with bustling economies and strategic energy plans.
- Political correctness has become so ingrained that national security is threatened in the name of not “offending” potential enemies.
- America continues to engage in foreign entanglements with no clear objectives, while maintaining military detachments in more than 130 countries.
- And the dollar continues to plummet, having lost 95 percent of its value since 1900. Not surprisingly, talk of the United States losing the reserve currency has become a front-page story.
The America of today seems a lot like Britain of yesteryear. Will America’s leaders recognize their mistakes, or be doomed to repeat them?
The 17th century belonged to the Spanish, 18th to the French, and 19th to the English — all great empires that experienced huge declines. America has owned the last 100 years, and, while shaky, continues to lead the world.
Some say America can never meet Britain’s fate, but no doubt the same was said of the Roman Empire. History tells us America is not too big to fall.
The most sobering thought: Britain's demise was underwritten by an America ready and able to protect the peace at all costs. If and when America declines, who will remain to defend freedom and prosperity?
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and television commentator who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com
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