Victor Davis Hanson has a truly depressing article: “Is America a deer in the headlights?” It’s long and chock-full of trenchant, if depressing, observations. A few teasers though:
Millions of Americans are dutifully paying their under-water mortgages each month, but getting peeved when they hear of all sorts of new programs to ensure others do not. Indeed, the message seems to be that the government cares for the hyper-wealthy or the very poor, while merely talking about the middle class, as it wages war on those who seek to be rich. [emphasis mine – NCT]
[…] There is almost an end-of-the-century / ‘after me the deluge’ madness in the Congress. With rock-bottom congressional approval ratings, a President with freefalling polls, and a public angry at almost every piece of proposed legislation—from socialized health care to cap and trade—Congress’s mood seems to be “let us race to cram through this statist agenda and get it institutionalized before we all get thrown out in 2010.”
We went from Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff and “the Culture of Corruption” to Charley Rangel, Chris Dodd, and John Murtha without a blink. What a strange time when we harangue CEO grandees for flying on private jets, while Nancy Pelosi flies to and from San Francisco on a monstrosity.
[…] After only 11 months of Barack Obama, nearly half the country polls that it would prefer instead the old bogeyman George Bush. The poor media is equally confused. It has two loyalties: 1) it likes, for social reasons alone, to be liberal; 2) but it also is popularity-driven and has no real independent judgment or core belief.
The result is that it wants to keep promoting Obama, but not if his popularity sinks to 40%. Then it too will pile on, and we will see all sorts of ‘insightful’ analyses proclaiming that this pundit or that reporter saw these Obama flaws “all along.”
[…]The people wanted tight-fisted sobriety and smaller government as antidotes to Bush’s deficits and new entitlement programs—and got instead with Obama even more reckless spending, mega-deficits, and bigger, more inefficient government. They wanted a more articulate explanation of American foreign policy, and instead got it turned upside down.
[…] Spiraling public debt, a sinking currency, and a bankrupt popular culture are simply symptoms when the body politic no longer adheres to a time-honored protocol of proven success. Ask ourselves—are we more hard-working, more lawful, more prudent, more independent—or less—than our grandparents? Can we say that we have on average lived more upright lives, both more productive and moral, than our grandparents? If in 50% of the cases, the answer is no, then we can begin to see the problem.
When schools cannot guarantee that their graduates are literate, know basic math, and have some sense of being American—the rights and responsibilities of citizenship—then those, rich or poor, who seek government assistance and violate the protocols will grow, and those able to pay sufficient taxes for them and who follow the letter of the law will shrink.
Fitting background music: Rush: No-one at the bridge.