A troubling question for so many today is “How did the United States, the most successful and advanced nation in history, fall into the current state of decline so rapidly?” The easy answer, which absolves people from responsibility, is that decline is an inevitable law of history. Most great nations and empires such as the Roman, Persian, Ottoman and British empires did not last more that two or two and half centuries. The United States will be 250 years old in 2026.
However, rather than being concerned with determinism shaping history, it’s far more important to identify the chief causes of decline and do something about them. First, it is essential to recognize that the United States is different from all other nations in human history because its foundation revolves around the God-given right of freedom, which is one of the most important natural rights. That right of freedom—when protected and fully realized—enables people to maximize their creativity, solve the most difficult problems, and flourish.
The First Amendment is the most important because it protects all the other rights—a cornerstone that provides a self-correcting means for both the public and the private sector to function properly. When people think about the First Amendment, they need to recognize that freedom of speech and thought are absolutely necessary for a society to arrive at the truth of facts, what works and solves problems, and what is right and what is wrong. Freedom of speech is the primary weapon to expose and destroy lies and deceit.
The primary cause of our current state of decline is that we have allowed so many liars and deceivers to gain power and influence in society. And until recently, we the people have failed to expose their frauds and false narratives and hold them accountable.
The deceivers’ primary method of operation is creating and using propaganda that often starts with a kernel of truth that gets manipulated and spun to create false narratives that are believable. In fact, these narratives have often been created by parties and agencies of the U.S. federal government, designed to have broad appeal to shape, manipulate, and control the masses through groupthink.
It is hard to say exactly when the federal government violated the First Amendment in stepping over the line in propagandizing the American people. But we now know that the CIA engaged in a large-scale program known as “Operation Mockingbird” in the early years of the Cold War, for the purpose of manipulating domestic American news media organizations for propaganda purposes. Operation Mockingbird recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network that enlisted and paid some 400 journalists and involved twenty-five large organizations, all of whom were secretly carrying assignments for the CIA. This pattern of the CIA and other government agencies manipulating public opinion through the media and social media has continued—on a new scale—as it has been disclosed that former government intelligence experts have been hired in significant numbers by Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
It is imperative to remember that the First Amendment is based on the principle that no person or institution, including government, has a monopoly on the truth. Further, the suppression or control of speech and expression is unconstitutional and threatening to the Republic. No nation can survive when its government deceives and corrupts its people with propaganda and misinformation, denying them the ability to make good political and economic choices. Similarly, when a nation’s justice system becomes politically weaponized, the moral compass of equal justice under the law is destroyed.