- The Washington Times - Monday, January 3, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As 2011 commences, Americans naturally are reflecting on the events of the past year and asking ourselves, are we as a nation moving in the right direction? It’s ingrained in our national character to expect the answer to be yes. When the verdict isn’t positive, we get restless.

Americans believe in progress. It’s part of our self-identity to view the nation as moving steadfastly forward and upward, not sideways and certainly not backwards. That proposition is rooted in American exceptionalism and the certainty that our experiment serves as a model to the world. From this foundation has arisen a confidence that ordinary people - irrespective of race or national origin - can accomplish extraordinary things in the Land of the Free.

Not every society shares our innate optimism. Some cultures, notably the Chinese and Indian, believe in a cyclical pattern of history in which things get better for a while, then worse, then better again. When conditions deteriorate, there is a tendency to accept the phenomenon as natural and inevitable. When times are bad here, however, we are gripped by a clash with our core beliefs. Defiant, we shake our heads and redouble our efforts to make things right again.

American progress has manifested itself in economic development, making the nation the global standard bearer for prosperity. Just as important is our moral strength. In an increasingly amoral world - and oftentimes an outright immoral one - the United States frequently is the only country that makes a stand in defense of tradition, or at least puts up a fight to try to slow a libertine revolution that threatens to cut mankind off from what has been considered right and wrong for ages.

Unfortunately, on balance, 2010 was an awful year for America. Acts of Congress that meddled with the lives of all Americans, such as the nationalization of the health system under Obamacare, have left many worried that social engineering is more important to our political class than solving the economic difficulties that threaten the future prosperity and security of our children. Similarly disturbing is the repeal of the ban on militant homosexuality in the armed forces that places the nation’s defense secondary to far-left special interests.

As a result, most Americans have come to doubt that our current leadership is guiding the nation in the right direction. A mid-December Rasmussen poll showed that 71 percent of voters believe the country is on the wrong track. Over the entire year, the number was never better than 60 percent.

Americans have transformed this historic dissatisfaction into activism. Millions of everyday citizens poured out into the public square to support the Tea Party movement and causes that affirm the nation’s traditional values. The phenomenon, which bore fruit on Election Day, demonstrated that the majority still believes our republic can move forward and refuse to settle for the inevitability of a diminished future. With a re-energized Republican leadership on Capitol Hill promising to challenge every step of the Obama agenda, the heartland is poised to ramp up the fight for what is right.

Americans can be hopeful that 2011 will be better than 2010. The American way has been challenged but our spirit of defiance against the government leviathan is alive and kicking. If we embrace resistance, the new year will mark a turning point where the nation started galloping toward a better future again.

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