As November elections approach, the glaring and deeply troubling headline I see is Americans becoming increasingly alienated from their own country.
There has never been a greater need for a new generation of leaders to restore clarity about American principles and plant them in American hearts and minds.
The Wall Street Journal reports that all branches of the U.S. military are coming up short in recruiting goals.
The U.S. Army will fall short by 25%, meaning 20,000 soldiers. The Air Force and Navy are also falling short.
The WSJ offers various technical explanations as the source of the recruiting problems facing the U.S. military. But most troubling is the observation that, per surveys, "fewer than one in 10 youth are inclined to serve."
It makes sense to expect that kids growing up in a country where they are taught that they live in an evil, unjust, racist nation will have diminishing enthusiasm to put on the uniform, no matter how much they are paid.
A Gallup poll from June showed only 38% of our citizens saying they are "extremely proud" to be an American. This is the lowest since Gallup first did this survey in 2001, when 55% said they are "extremely proud."
On a similar note, a new Gallup survey shows trust in all branches of our federal government has cratered.
The percentage expressing trust in our judicial branch stands at 47%, in our executive branch, 43%, and in the legislative branch, 38%.
It is the first time all three branches of government fell below 50% in trust.
Gallup notes that when it first did this survey in 1972, at least two-thirds expressed trust in each branch of the federal government.
This is a leadership crisis.
Former Democratic Party congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard drew attention with her announcement that she is pulling out of the Democratic Party.
In an interview on Fox with former Republican congressman Trey Gowdy, Gabbard ticked off her complaints about the Democratic Party, including her concern that Democrats do not carry the banner for "individual liberties," "limited government" and our "God-given rights enshrined in our Constitution."
Some have noted the precedent of Ronald Reagan leaving the Democratic Party.
But Reagan left the Democrats and became a Republican.
And Gabbard? She says she is now an independent.
It's tough to fathom the genuineness of Gabbard's disillusionment with her former party, given that she endorsed socialist Bernie Sanders for president in 2016.
Reagan articulated a clear vision of America, about limited government and individual freedom, and then fought to capture leadership in the Republican Party so the party would become the platform for these ideals.
This option certainly is open to Gabbard. But, no thank you. She's an independent.
Americans are disillusioned because too many so-called leaders are playing games with them.
We need leaders who understand and feel, at the deepest level, what our nation is about. A great definition of leadership/heroism that I once read says that it is someone who embodies "by the cast of destiny, the virtue of their whole people in a great hour."
Inflation is a sure sign of a corrupt political culture. It begins with irresponsible government spending and printing of money.
Alongside our corrupt political culture is the corruption of our society with the breakdown of marriage and family, and the disappearance of children.
A free society is not about economic issues or social issues but both.
In Reagan's farewell address to the nation he said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
He knew that in America, the family passes on the values of freedom.
The press wants to focus the upcoming elections on individual races.
This election must be about party. Republicans versus Democrats.
Voters need to turn the country back to Republicans and pave the way for new, great American leaders.
Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit think tank promoting market-based public policy to fight poverty. Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star had seven years of firsthand experience in the grip of welfare dependency. Today she is a highly sought-after commentator on national news networks for her expertise on social policy reform. Her books include "Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It" (2003) and "White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay" (2006). Read Star Parker's Reports — More Here.