Main Street: “we’re tired”

On Main Street, the worries mount. People are going to work apprehensive. For most Americans who go off to work or who are looking for work, they worry about their future, the education their children receive and ultimately a nagging sense that they are falling behind.

Increasingly, average Americans — those who work and pay taxes — have this growing sense that they are becoming the foreigners in a strange upside-down world. What my neighbors are saying, without using words, becomes sketched in the corner of their eyes — “we’re tired” — and the colors of their day-to-day lives are dimming to shades of gray.

Kevin Clark is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter @kcstock

Kevin Clark is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter @kcstock

For most of my adult life, Main Street has been the true North for American culture, where the phrase conjures up a set of values, a way of life that most agree with, and most prefer to follow. It is under siege today by a political movement determined to remake our nation. Apprehension is not a stranger to America. History is filled with times of defining moments and crossroads that led to decision that altered world history. When we question our nation’s abilities to overcome the great issues of the day, that seems strange.

I can’t help but notice that anxiousness tends to fade to dread, which ultimately grows into fear. I’m not seeing widespread fear in the eyes of my neighbors, but with record gun sales and shortages of ammunition, you know it is “red sky” in the morning for America. Somehow, our media has been missing this story.

Our newspapers would be filled with stories of a culture fraying at the margins if we had fair-minded journalists willing to break free from the progressive narrative. We would be reading about the growing trend of poverty with public assistance, and the shameful conditions that we find our public schools in, where inner city students are trapped in a morass of special interests, falling behind with little opportunity for social mobility.

We should also be reading about an alarming trend of slowing wage growth. At the same time, erosion of purchasing power is curbing the standard of living for many Americans. Although the economy is crawling forward, risk taking has receded, and jobs that would have been created have not been, and taxes that would have been paid have not been. This is causing the gears of progress to be filled with bureaucratic sand seizing up the great engine of innovation America has always been.

But, let’s be honest — we don’t see journalists writing such stories. We see main stream journalism evolving into propaganda. You only had to witness the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama to see that.

When it comes to propaganda, and journalists who excel at it, hypocrisy has been eliminated from their lexicon. Consider Benghazi, drone strikes or crony capitalism. The examples have been numerous with this administration.  So too, you find this powerful group of media people who seem to lack the ability to feel shame. Just watch Jay Carney at every press conference for an example of that.

Unfortunately, this lack of shame has grown into arrogance, and that’s a very dangerous condition for freedom in America.

The stock market has become a scoreboard used for misdirection, delivering one more statement of success. The propagandists use that scoreboard to build their false premise and advance their narrative that all is well and moving forward in America. With the main stream media fully engaged in the ruse, the false premise and the strategy of building a narrative around it is a powerful force indeed.

Do you really believe more money for public schools will increase achievement? Do you really believe the middle class is helped by higher taxes? You can leave a comment at the end of this article as to what your favorite false premise is — there must be hundreds.

In early February of 2009 our nation and the economic foundation were in crisis. Anxiousness was well founded. Like many people, I too was anxious, and I questioned where we were heading — difficult days and no clear answers. I was writing my first book, and on that early February day I said this:

Great nations have an attitude of Vital Optimism; a quality of spirit possessed by a nation, community or person in which there is a persuasion that the best is yet to be. Throughout the 1930’s, the war years of the 40’s, or the 1973-74 oil embargo and recession, it was being said, “it’s different this time” or “America had seen its best days”, just like we are hearing today. I don’t believe this is true. Do I know what the market will do in the short run? No- but, I do believe America will overcome, and history would say to invest in America when you are confused, uncertain and feeling economic pain”

So I ask you, here in February of 2013, is it different this time? Has America seen its best days?

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