There was a time not so long ago when I could select my own doctor. There was a time when I could choose my health insurance company. There was a time when everyone believed Marxism was a failure, an idea relegated to the ash heap of history. There was a time when class warfare occurred in other places far away, but Americans believed in opportunity, not sponging from others.
Was that really not so long ago? It is true President Obama said he would transform America. He has lived up to his promise. Our Constitution has been twisted into an unrecognizable document. Washington has become a lawless town where criminals are heroes and heroes are ignored. Peace through strength – the bipartisan belief that military preparedness preserves order – has been converted into peace through prayer. If you hope for the best, it just might occur.
Although racial profiling has been lambasted, its opponents base racial fairness on a race based test, i.e. the number of arrests must be equal to the number of a racial group in a given community. If crime is committed by a racial group that is disproportionate to its number in the population, that’s too bad.
Common sense is on vacation. People who have violated the law and sing misogynistic lyrics are rewarded as millionaires in the rap world. Teachers who engage youthful students in sexual escapades cannot be fired. The aggregate pension liability for retired police officers and firefighters in New York City is more than the salaries of active employees. Laws that Congress passes for the rest of America do not necessarily apply to it. And a congressman tells us that the Tea Party, based on a grassroots effort to limit the expansion of government, is equivalent to the KKK and if you have the temerity to disagree with him, you are a racist.
Four Americans killed in Benghazi defending the ambassador and the embassy are ignored by the Secretary of State who said, “What difference does it make.” American students are more likely to know the winner on “American Idol” than the authors of the Federalist Papers.
Sophistry is the language of politics and television news. “Fairness” is taking from some and giving to others. Taxes are referred to as “investments.” Adversaries are enemies and enemies are friends. Islam is a religion of peace. The use of poison gas is a red line – oh, I meant a dotted line. The IRS is an “independent agency.” A deadline was established for the introduction of Obamacare, but it wasn’t meant as a “deadline.” The president asserted and reasserted that “If you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it.” Lies are merely “misinterpretations.”
When there is so little to rely on, the basis for civilizational stability is undone. I observe tweeters on the street who communicate in 140 characters and cannot express a thoughtful opinion. It is any wonder? Technology has given us many new opportunities, but these opportunities are saddled with toxins. So what if I can find out what you are having for dinner or who you are dating. Does it make a difference? All we have are distractions from what really matters.
What does matter are the interests of the nation. To my astonishment, the president has given Russia a veto over American foreign policy and the State Department has channeled foreign policy decisions through the United Nations, an organization reflexively opposed to American interests.
In surveying this landscape I realize that I am an alien in a foreign land. I don’t speak the language of puerile adolescents that dominate the media. I remain a patriot, albeit patriotism itself is an antediluvian idea. And I regard government’s coercive effort to redistribute wealth as theft. My world is at an end. There won’t be a funeral for the deceased nation, but there will be a lamentation. This is it.
Herbert London is President of the London Center for Policy Research, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book The Transformational Decade (University Press of America). You can read all of Herb London’s commentaries at www.londoncenter.org
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