When nations die, they do so with surprising speed. Ernest Hemingway made a similar observation when a person in his novel was asked how he went bankrupt, and his reply was, "Gradually, then suddenly."
Nations are built upon classical values — perseverance, self-reliance, and honor. A great nation is one whose values have made it unusually prosperous. In its latter days, the nation becomes hollowed out and burdened with a costly, top-heavy government. The middle class is expected to provide generosity to the masses. Over time, traditional values fade away, and everyone seeks to live off everyone else.
The United States shows aspects of a once great power past its prime. It is socially and politically divided, aware of the necessity for changes, unable or unwilling to make them, and losing the conviction in the shared goals that earlier invigorated it.
The decay that started gradually decades ago is now metastasizing at warp speed. The United States, ripped apart internally, has become ever less willing and able to lead internationally. The doctrines that built the United States and Western civilization, assimilated from ancient cultures over thousands of years, are being methodically dissolved. America is entering an uncharted, revolutionary time. The foundation of American life, abundant food, energy autonomy, a sound economy, sound education at all levels, and enforceable and equal application of the law, are eroding.
Our society is "fundamentally changing," and these changes are not for the better. Hard-left fanatics have absorbed the Democrat party and are transforming the country with woke and equality-of-result agendas. Prosperity and leisure have misled a complacent society into thinking the modern age no longer needs to worry about law and order.
As we recoil from spontaneous street violence and looting, Americans are coming to learn just how degraded the foundations of their society have become. Criminals walk out with stolen merchandise without fear of the law or even the outrage of witnesses. Defunding the police has discharged a torrent of criminals into the streets. Downgrading felonies, no cash bail, and no jail time are spiking violent crime. Lawlessness has become a political matter where race, ideology, and politics decide how the law will be enforced.
At the border, millions of people enter our country illegally. Joe Biden is shamefully welcoming an unvetted third-world population into our country to dilute and displace native-born Americans. No country can exist without a border, much less allow foreign crime cartels to control it while killing 100,000 citizens with drugs yearly.
The FBI is more likely to go after parents at school board meetings than those threatening the homes of Supreme Court justices. CIA and FBI directors lie under oath without consequence. They mislead the public and deceive Congress with stories of fake dossiers. They contract private news organizations to censor stories they do not like and writers whom they fear. And the IRS is weaponized against political opponents of the Democrats.
Possibly a million homeless people now live on our streets. Our major cities are cesspools of human filth with open sewers, garbage-strewn streets, and drugged out drifters.
Grocery shelves are increasingly bare, and many food items are now beyond people's budgets. Fuel costs are reaching record levels, new cars and homes are unaffordable, and inflation is at a 40-year high. The necessary medicine of high interest rates to bring down inflation is nearly as painful as the inflation itself.
The federal government spends $1.29 for every dollar in tax revenues it receives, and a quarter of IRS revenues are now needed to cover interest payments on the debt. Economic doom, market collapse, and bank runs are not far from people's minds.
China is leading BRICS countries to replace the dollar's standing as the world's reserve currency. Any success they attain will lessen demand for dollars and possibly collapse the dollar's exchange rate.
Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party authorities think they have a chance to bolster their power and change the world order in their favor. Because China's broad geopolitical interests are on the rise, a pressing question is how to check China's ambitions at a time of division and discord in America. China's current foreign policy could not happen without its substantial military forces and three-decades-long economic growth, underwritten by its exports to America.
Sensing American weakness, the CCP may invade Taiwan before Joe Biden leaves office. Are the American people willing to fight over Taiwan or freedom of navigation issues near Chinese-claimed islands? What are we truly ready to fight for? When that happens, are we prepared for economic devastation to the U.S. and the world? Meanwhile, thousands of Chinese sleeper agents are crossing our open southern border to cause mayhem when called upon to do so.
Today's threat arises from a disintegrating world order. More than at any other recent time, many dangerous intersecting events are happening at a time when the United States is unprepared to deal with them.
And it all culminates with the elections in November 2024. Democrats can win only by cheating, and since they did it successfully in 2020, you can expect them to do it again. While some election integrity measures have been increased in some states, almost nothing has been done anywhere to require open-source computer programming code of voting machines so we can be assured they are counting votes correctly. Moreover, nothing has been done to prevent voting machines from being hacked to alter election outcomes. At this point, the left has become brazenly indifferent as to whether anyone even knows of its cheating. Court challenges almost always go the leftists' way.
Regardless of who is declared the winner, there will be unrest. There could be a breakdown in civil order nationwide. If the left loses, leftists will riot and loot in a replay of the 2020 BLM riots. If the right loses, this will be a turning point, as we can't go on being lied to and threatened by the left. Another stolen election will break our country.
The decay that began slowly long ago is now upon us in full force. The only election historically comparable to 2024 was in 1860, and that one was followed by a civil war. We must defend our freedom and our country and protect it with everything we have or lose it all. We must be involved and understand that if we lose the election in 2024, America, as we know it, is over. To save the nation, all constitutionally minded Americans must see the danger and gird themselves for what lies ahead.
Jeff Lukens is a West Point graduate, U.S. Army veteran, and conservative activist. He can be reached at email@example.com.© Jeff Lukens
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.