Personally, I feel this trend started on November 22, 1963 with the assination of President John F. Kennedy. I was only seven at the time but I hear a lot of those older than me saying we (America) lost something because of this. Though the government ( and not limited to the USA ) has probably lied to us before I feel this horrific event kicked off our government going rogue. I believe there was a conspiracy and the lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald spin is bull! This was the start of our expansion in Viet Nam and you can see where that got us.
Also, I throw some of the blame on my generation (Baby Boomers). We were the ones who were going to change the world, remember the hippies and free love? Well guess what? Those same druggie long hairs became the Wall Street Robber Barrons who are contributing to the demise of our great nation. We've brought you such ridiculous things as in no particular order:
* New Morality
* Political Correctness (taken to extremes)
* The Every Kid gets a Trophy/Ribbon
* Too much government intrusion
* The omnipotent rule of the Lawyers
* Death of Common Sense and Common Courtesy
* The expansion of that Me Uppity attitude.
* With the opression of the lawyer we also have rulership by bean counter.
* The Great divide and conquer culture. A growing gap between the haves and have nots
However to end on an up note, we have come a long way.
Relations between varous races, ethnicities has a way to go but, we don't have the Apartheid segregation we had through the mid 1960's.
We have a lot of technological goodies that for better or for worse have influenced our lives.
We have the capibility to correct a lot of these issues and when we do we will have the potential for a real golden age but, we have to get there first!