Historian Arnold Toynbee observed “an autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.”
It’s hard not to think about this reading the results of the latest Wall Street Journal-NORC poll, appearing under the headline “America Pulls Back From Values That Once Defined It.”
Only 38% of Americans now say patriotism is “very important,” compared to 70% in 1998. Thirty-nine percent say religion is “very important,” compared to 62% in 1998. And 30% say having children is “very important” compared to 59% in 1998.
The results that follow from these attitudes are not surprising.
Marriage rates are way down. Birthrates are way down.
In 1990, 67% of American adults between the ages of 25-54 were married. This was down to 51% in 2021.
In 2020, there were 56 births in the U.S. for every 1,000 women ages 15-44. In 1990, there were 70.9.
And, among the births we do have, in 2021, 40% of our babies were born to unmarried mothers.
Not surprisingly, our population is hardly growing. In 2022, the U.S. population increased 0.4%, a modest increase from the 0.1% increase in 2021, the lowest annual population growth since the founding of the nation.
Looking at the same polling data results among the youngest sector of our population, the picture looks even more dismal.
Among those under 30, just 23% say patriotism is “very important” to them, 31% say religion is “very important,” and 23% say having children is “very important.”
What is important to Americans today?
Although 70% say marriage is either “very important” or “somewhat important,” 65% say belief in God is “very important” or “somewhat important,” 73% say patriotism is “very important” or “somewhat important,” 91% say self-fulfillment is “very important” or “somewhat important,” and 90% say money is “very important” or “somewhat important.”
The devaluing of marriage, children and patriotism, and the focus on “self-fulfillment” and money are, of course, signs of a culture sunk into egotism and materialism, with a loss of a sense of being part of something larger than oneself.
It is not an encouraging picture for a country that hopes to have a future.
Our health care and retirement systems depend on a growing population. Stagnant population growth means more and more retirees per each individual in the workforce. It’s why our Social Security system is bankrupt.
Zero population growth means an aging population and increasing health care costs. In 2019, 56% of all health care costs were in age groups 55 and above. The overall burden of health care costs will continue to increase as the percentage of the population over 55 increases.
There are also implications on national security of attitudes that devalue patriotism and national service.
We now have a volunteer military. This can’t work with a population of young people who feel no sense of identity and obligation to their nation.
Again, the results are predictable. In 2022, the Army fell 15,000 short of its recruiting goal.
National defense spending is 3% of GDP, very low by historical standards.
The Wall Street Journal reports our Navy’s fleet of ships will shrink to 291 by 2028 from 297 today. And the number of aircrafts in the Air Force is diminishing.
Only 21% of those surveyed say that our country “stands above all countries in the world.”
But our country is only the product of its citizenry. A free nation under God becomes less free, and less great, as the Creator is traded in for materialism and egotism.
We have elections coming in 2024. President Joe Biden, assuming he runs, will run on more of what is destroying our nation. It is up to Republicans to run on principles and ideals, in hope that we can mend our rapidly sinking ship of state.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “Cure America with Star Parker.” To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
All things aside,,,the Suicide all began when the LGBTQ boys named Sue, put aside, social sanity for immediate gratification imaginations, the beginning of how America lost the concept of who they really are, where our strengths lie as a country, and what we as a nation was designed to be. When you don’t even know what gender you are, it becomes impossible to reproduce former social successes, let alone produce viable fecund human spirits, able to reproduce their species of intact human bodies designed for workable integrity and success. Their evil siren love songs these days are so loud and mind-bending repetitive that Elvis couldn’t sign it any better;
“Love me tender love me sweat, love me by the toilet seat’
Your kids will be ours for ever more,
When all genders signs come off the bathroom doors
Love me tender love me dear till the end of time”,,,,,,,
Their Zero population growth can only end in a Zero population which makes the end of our childless American times about two generations away in their proffered unproductive love of same, which is just a warped version of love of SELF.
“Power is a game, and in games you do not judge your opponents by their intentions but by the effects of their actions.”
― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
Just ask democrat, socialist/ party’s Nancy Pelosi, democrat, elite, Chuck Schomber about power.
The communist woke schools, liberalism and the communist woke politicians are destroying / have destroyed the children in this society and that is leading to the downfall of our country.
IMO its NOT “Suicide”, when these are ALL THE LEFTISTS goals..
“Our health care and retirement systems depend on a growing population. Stagnant population growth means more and more retirees per each individual in the workforce. It’s why our Social Security system is bankrupt.” – No, that is not why Social Security is bankrupt. SS is bankrupt because the money was never put in to a separate fund to only be used for SS. From the very start the money was put in the General Fund, to be pilfered by any and every Congress that wanted to. Had the money been put into a separate fund, and even invested in T-Bills, there would be more than enough money to pay out everyone in the program. Instead, Congresses past and present have raided the funds on a regular basis to fund their big government plans. Both parties are guilty of this, yet no one in Congress wants to admit that they have always been and remain the reason that SS is broke.
That imo was one of the BIGGEST screw=ups the GOP did, when SS was initially created. THEY DID NOT ensure it was in a separate fund, so COULDN’T be pilfered into by congress.