We had a twenty year headstart.
It's a shame but in the end, it was something made by the crooked timber of man and therefore could never straighten itself. It was the greatest nation we know of in world history and certainly one of the freest places ever permitted to exist for long. The problem with freedom is that it works too well and like all successful things sows the seeds of its own destruction. Once people began to take freedom for granted, the usual suspects moved in and turned it into just another socialist hellhole in less than two generations.