My America, the homeland I honored as the highest expression of freedom’s ideals, is no more. Limited government and sweeping individual liberty are things of the past. So is the business environment that sometimes allowed little David companies to become giant killers. We are burdened by taxes, by rules and red tape and the odious creed of political correctness.What happened was that people abandoned God and good as their guiding lights. America has never been a very religious country, but for a long time the cultural influence of Christ’s gospel was felt–honored only partially and quite inconsistently, but present none the less and tacitly accepted as a good thing. Now, though, some even openly call the gospel a bad thing. Few ever consider looking to it for moral guidance. This moral end-swap has left us without moral guidance. What we have instead is the desire to impose moralisms, often invented ones, on other people.So the country that started out with people promising freedom to their neighbors in return for their own freedoms–their neighbors as themselves–now has become a hive of busybodies. Everyone thinks ‘there oughta be a law’ and oddly enough it is always other people’s behavior they think it about. The idea that you create freedoms by imposing laws is entirely backwards. The word ‘freedom’ is appropriated and misused in arguments for restrictions, probably because it is traditionally a popular word in American politics. But it would seem we have forgotten what the dictionary says it means.As I read the history books, great nations do not end in sudden cataclysm but decline slowly into folly and despair. They end not with a bang but a whimper. Where once proud Romans stood, illiterate peasants tended olives and vegetables through the long Dark Ages. The great overarching lesson of history is that people fail to learn the great overarching lesson of history.