There's a fundamental disconnect between pure materialists and people who believe there abides a reconciling Source for pursuing answers that is not limited to pure materialism. So long as that disconnect prevails, any attempt to pursue serious debate tends to become waste. Simply put, it's waste to contend about "oughts" with those "thinkers" whose philosophy is so all-knowing as to refuse to entertain any capacity for dealing with oughts. It's a debate they shut down because they simply lack the tools to think about it.
There can be little reasonable hope for preserving America so long as there abides so little appreciation for what America is.
Where does a striving politician with little money go to get quick money for organizing and campaigning? He goes whoring to the street. Then he puts out gimmicks and for-sell ads. He lets the Johns and Cannibalizers know he's their gimmick guy. Appointments and czars. Flat tax. No death taxes. Redistributions. Currency manipulations. Open borders. Free trade with despots. Corporate welfare. Crony Capitalism. Crony Socialism. Thug buyers of technologies and arms. Off shore laundered contributions. Dividing and laying waste to everything that could assimilate a resistant middle class. Facilitating cheap labor. Inciting class, race, gender, and generational warfare. Bunking assimilating faiths. The deck has been stacked. Against foreign despots and homegrown nihilists, the middle class has been declawed of competitive capacity to fund or control candidates to do more than promise to defend America, all the while selling America out. Among those who now control the springs of power, except in pretense, faith in America is all but died out. Certainly, faith is derided in most of America's main institutions. Until that trend changes, the lights will continue to flicker out. Fake? What's fake is the snake oil that mere forms, gimmicks, and tax laws can fix the middle class. What? Widening the wealth/power chasm is supposed to protect us from imposition of serfdom? Insanity.
Which is More Fake --- Money or Spirituality:
The people who call God and all religion fake tend to be the people whose brains are sunk entirely in materialism and misguided works. Given their head, they will make America fake. Without a nationally assimilated sense of higher values, all contrived forms of government for replacing God will reduce to vanity and will eventually and necessarily lead humanity to be ruled by the least humane and most callous, cynical, and deceitful. Without respect among Americans for an assimilative Source of higher values, America will be reduced. Promises about defending America's borders, people, infrastructure, industry, general standard of living, and opportunity for middle class strivers will become fake. Why expect mere promises that are unsupported by any higher values or will to be other than cover for cannibalizers and self promoters at all costs?
Once we become hollow in our values, why expect mere FORMS of tax gimmicks to save us? Without assimilated values of WILL, the forms for defending America will be hollow, fake, and will matter very little. Once Americans acquiesce that property means anyone can own stakes in America, free of tariffs and regulations and values for protecting America, then promises of preserving America will become fake.
One's ease for making more money and acquiring more property and power to cannibalize America tends to be inversely proportional to how much money and how few principles one begins with. Once the principle of defending America as a land of assimilated values is wiped aside, so that the controlling electorate is led to expect to find its salvation and defense in mere tax gimmicks and regulations, regardless of whether Left or Right, Dino or Rino, then all the tax gimmicks and regulations in the world cannot stand to defend ordinary Americans against the rise of a cynical new aristocracy of international wolves pretending to have our best interests at heart.
Recipe for Destruction: Rooting out of assimilated spiritual values, tax as savior (in all its varieties, flat or progressive), free trade with despotisms, no effective restraints on crony enterprise for the buying and selling of political influence and cheap labor and currencies, invitations to despots and gangsters to invest in America, ineffective restraints against the flux of international money and corporatists, ineffective restraints against the buying and selling of politicians. Against that recipe, especially given the division and denigration of higher assimialting values, an America that avails opportunity for decent middle class strivers who are not willing to sell out to Moral Crime Inc cannot stand. Once the idea of God, i.e., higher assimilating values, is sacrificed, there can be no effective substitute that can sustain the idea of America. Moreover, the coming aristocratically imposed serfdom will not entertain a restraining sense of spiritual values, but will entertain a verbally smooth and materialistic sense whose higher value is self enrichment.
The default position for materialists who think all that is worth knowing is in materialim will come home to roost with vengeance, and their vengeance will feast on their own humanity. It's not respectful spirituality that has plagued the world; it's the fake and deceitful value of pure materialism and self justification over all. Once scales have tipped to favor deceit and eviscerate trust, a change in faith in necessary to restore a decent balance. It's no substitute to prop up a mere man who acts a messiah or a mere form proffered as a panacea. Without inspiration to a higher sense of decency and proportion, there is no effective form-in-itself that can fix things for us, as opposed simply to continuing to facilitate distortions. There is nothing in mere atheism or political reformulation that can fix a deep, deconstructing loss of social trust.
The true debate ought not be front loaded or artificially confined by narrow minds as being only between (1) proponents for stupidly false quick fixes in forms of regulations or taxes versus (2) proponents for absurd dogmas for trying to confine God to a box. Vision needs to be freed.