The American way of life is being systematically dismantled by a disconnected, self-interested ruling elite, longtime National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre told a crowded audience at the Bakersfield Business Conference.

The 15-year NRA official painted a dire portrait of a faltering nation headed to the polls on Nov. 8 as its current electeds continue to insist nothing is wrong.

"'If you like your doctor, you can keep him.' 'We have to pass the bill to see what’s in bill.' 'The economy's fine,'" LaPierre said rattling off a series of platitudes he charged the Obama administration and other officials with offering as panaceas as taxes rise, wages fall and the American dream recedes from view.

"America is no longer a government of the people by the people. It has over time, more and more, become a government of the elites by the elites. Our morning in America has become the winter of America’s discontent," he said, riffing on the famous line from the Ronald Reagan television commercial.

In LaPierre's hands, the country's prognosis momentarily seemed bleak, though audience members applauded vigorously when he castigated President Obama and his former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, current Chicago mayor, for that city's high murder rate.

"President Obama could save lives in his hometown right now if he wanted to," LaPierre said. "Those deaths are President Obama's legacy."

Americans will have to take back their own nation because no one will do it for them, he said — and the NRA will stand with them.

"What I love about the NRA is, it’s an organization that stands on principle, it’s unafraid to speak the truth and it is unflinching in the fight for all that is good and right in America," LaPierre said, calling the Second Amendment "a metaphor for all the freedoms" millions cherish.