Scanning his history books, Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t find much evidence that Americans are likely to offer solid support to the kind of leaders we need to set the country on the right course. In recent history alone, he reminds us in his latest column, Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 only after he “had been demonized as a heartless bastard who had strangled the economy for the benefit of the rich.”

Our salvation lies in a group of politicians who will balance budgets, put entitlements on a fiscally sustainable basis, and remind Americans that in comparison with our predecessors — who gave us much of what we enjoy — we live amazingly prosperous lives. If history is any guide, such frankness will never happen. Financial implosion, not prudent correction, is the usual remedy for reckless expenditure.

In that regard, the president has offered $5 trillion more in debt, rather than a way to reduce the $11 trillion debt he inherited. As gas hits $4 a gallon, he talks about tapping oil reserves that others invested in, rather than using vast new finds of oil and gas on federal land. He has borrowed to fund more food stamps, unemployment insurance, and disability entitlements although we could not pay for the existing recipients. …

… The strangest thing of all? Americans watch both parties demagogue proposed cuts in Medicare, knowing full well that the present rate of expenditure cannot go on — and yet they are fully prepared to blame those who agree with them and reduce the rates of yearly increases. In other words, we know that we are doomed on the present course; we oppose those who agree and take action to avert it; and yet we might some day praise them for saving us after we did all we could to destroy them.