Want to know when the decline of America began? No, it wasn’t Donald Trump. To understand the decline of America you need not look further than the Almighty Dollar. Yesterday was the Fourth of July holiday. It was a time to gather with family, eat burgers and shoot off fireworks. Supposedly it is also time to celebrate the birth of America. Supposedly because if you look closely, there was little celebrating of America as most Americans were distracted by Almighty Dollar.

Over the years the celebration of America is paid lip service by most as a celebration of the country but in reality, the marketing machines hijack the celebration with bombardments of advertising trying to entice Americans to break with their dollars.

Wrapped in the red-white-and-blue of America and its flag motifs that are all over the place, the Fourth of July has strayed away from celebrating America to celebrating the Almighty Dollar. Look around you and you see it everywhere. Embolden in the red-white-and-blue are the calls to buy, buy and buy some more.

Whether it is a new car, furniture, technology and even groceries it is splashed before your face on your social media, news sites and even in your inbox/mailbox.

Instead of the story of America, the day is riddled with advertisements wrapped in the red-white-and-blue of spend, spend and spend some more.

America has become the country where its birth is but a footnote in grade school where Americans chase not the freedom promised by the Founding Fathers. Instead, Americans spend their lives chasing the Almighty Dollar never reaching the summit of success.

America was founded on the notion of freedom. The freedom of choice. The freedom of self-determination. The freedom to be. The search for freedom got lost.

Americans have become slaves to the Almighty Dollar.

Freedom was bastardized into the idea that to be free is to have lots of Almighty Dollars. The Almighty Dollar has become equated with freedom.

Look closely around you and you see how the Almighty Dollar drives Americans today.

Freedom to elect a representative government has been supplanted by deep-pocketed Americans – and sometimes Russians – who buy politicos to do their will. Instead of casting a vote for a politician who will look out for America, Americans cast votes to the deepest pocket.

Instead of celebrating America’s search for freedom, Americans today celebrate the Fourth of July by shooting off Chinese rockets and buying foreign-made cars and furniture. Look closely at yesterday’s celebrations, and in between Trump’s tanks and airplanes you will note that the story of America’s search for freedom was notably silent in backyard celebrations.

When was the last time an American family toasted American freedom on the Fourth of July?

When was the last time a business simply said, Happy Fourth of July without adding a discount to something they want to sell you?

When was the last time Americans sat down and simply discussed the search for personal freedom?

America was hijacked by the Almighty Dollar.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...