Americans have stepped down rather than stepped up. We need to be re-energized to start doing the right things, including accepting morals, values and critical thinking. It will take leaders willing to take enormous risks and make Americans proud of their country again. It starts with schools and responsible parenting.
The idea of American exceptionalism is being destroyed by the mindset people buying into that the government is responsible to provide them with a certain standard of living. When the reward is great, people are willing to work hard. When people see that their success is being demonized and that they will have to pay additional taxes for their success, this causes people to become unmotivated. Therefore, America's problems are due to the character of the many Americans who no longer have the will to work hard. The fact that many Americans will settle for mediocre results is disturbing. It also doesn't help that we have a president who encourages us to believe that we are no better than any other country out there.
The will and character of our president suggests that every citizen has the right to do whatever he/she wants to, regardless of whether or not it goes against our constitution(founded on the principles of the Bible). If you are gay and want to get married, go ahead! Do whatever you want! It's a free country! If you don't want to deal with a baby, go ahead kill it.... Its a free country, after all. The Bible says in Proverbs that if you don't work, you don't eat. However, our president says if you don't work, He will just print more money that we can't pay back to give it to you.... And take some food stamps too!
Our biggest problems come down to serious flaws in character and will.
Take, for example, the blind greed that causes so much fraud, cheating, and exploitation of loopholes in our financial system and amongst our corporations. There is something seriously wrong with the character of a nation where the surest way to a good life is to have strong sociopath tendencies.
As for the other half of that, the will, I would say that it is absolutely a problem. How many vices do we have in this country, things like heavy smoking, drinking, and obesity, that come down to nothing more than a lack of will to change?
As a nation, I believe that America has a decent amount of will and character. We go to the aid of other nations; not as much as we should, but America has a conscience. What is contemporarily defined as "will and character" is so vastly different among people these days, that I believe it is dangerous to discuss a nation and those two qualities in the same breath.