The United States has lost sight of what made it the greatest country in the history of the world. The country that was built on the backs of risk takers has been infested with people who are apathetic about their own success and would prefer to seek a government handout. That’s a sobering reality, but it is evidential given the fact that the front-runners in each party, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have plans to govern based on one idea: the government is here to solve everyone’s problems. Their rhetoric promising a better and expanded government has inspired the hearts of many looking for an easy way to fix the country. In reality, the only way to make America great again is for the people to make it happen themselves.
The big issue the front-runners are promising to fix is the economy. Both candidates are convinced that by involving the government more in the economy, they will be able to get it moving again. At best, government intervention in the economy picks winners and losers, and at worst, it just creates a whole lot of losers. Whether it’s using tariffs to benefit manufacturers at the expense of the American consumer or corporate welfare policies that benefit big corporations at the expense of small businesses, the government cannot accomplish for all what the spontaneous intelligence and willpower of the people can.
Spontaneous intelligence and willpower is what used to drive the country, and it is what will drive the country forward again. The United States has a great history of entrepreneurs from Andrew Carnegie to Henry Ford to Bill Gates who have had the knowledge, foresight, and work ethic to create lasting companies that have fundamentally changed the country. Innovation leads to an increase in jobs, quality of life, and wealth. Now more than ever, the country needs rugged individualists to go out and create the great companies of tomorrow so that tomorrow’s Americans can have vehicles to drive their own success.
Not only does the United States need innovation, it needs a cultural shift. Politicians, members of the media, and educators have fostered a belief in people that dependence is okay. The way they would have people to believe it, it is now okay for people to live off of entitlements or to have a company that survives off of government funding, for example. The sooner people can discard this belief in favor of a belief in hard work and self-determination, beliefs that used to deeply held American values, the sooner the country will be to being great again. To do this, the people will have to vote for candidates that believe that greatness comes not from Washington but from the American people.
It doesn’t stop with the economy. Many Americans have voted for and trusted the government to fix poverty, education, and many other areas that are lacking in today’s America. Contrary to what Barrack Obama might want people to believe, the government cannot build that. If the people say they want to fix poverty, then the best way to do that is to donate their time and money to charities and organizations that have a proven track record of fixing poverty. If the people say they want to fix education, then the best way to do that is to take initiative in raising standards at the local level and assisting in the education of their own children. People can best ensure that something will happen if they control what they can control, and unless they are a special interest, the government is one thing that they cannot control.
The government time after time has made promises that it cannot keep, and it is time that the people recognize the government’s ineptitude and move on. In history, tough times have led the people to become infatuated with authoritarian rule when they would be much better served by the opposite. When times are tough, no strong man or woman will be able to create for one’s self what one needs to create on their own. That is the idea that the United States was founded on, and that is the message that George Washington dedicated his life to. When the people called for him to be king for life, he humbly stepped down after two terms as president. He knew that it was not him that was going to make the United States the greatest country in the history of the world; it was its people.