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Myron Magnet
Obama and the Burden of History « Back to Story

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I find these comments to be absurd. Both political parties have contributed to the decline of America, not one. American decline did not start with Obama. In certain areas he may have slowed our decline. How about improving our standing in the world community. George Bush 2 put us into an illegitimate war based on false intelligence- the intelligence heads gave the Bush white house what it wanted- the basis for a war. It cost a trillion dollars and many American lives. What did we get for it? Reduced standing in the world community and reduced safety. Terrorism coming out of Iraq was increased. That is the result when America projects its power improperly.
I was in London from Australia for the Royal Jubilee. There was no sign of loutish Britain on that weekend. London was filled with millions of people paying homage to HMQ, but there was nothing but good feeeling and joy.

And that is what will save Britain in the end, the fact that there is one person who serves us and leads us, but is not political.

The US needs to limt its President's power and turn him or her into a uniting, non-political figurehead.
P.S. For the United States, however, there is a ray of hope. In 2008 Obama was elected in a landslide, and it was thought that liberal America was the permanent wave of the future. However, in 2010 - two short years ago - conservative voters "shellacked" Obama and the Democratic Party. In 2012, for all the nonsense by the left and the Republican establishment, Obama barely won re-election - a few votes one way or another and we would be celebrating a Romney victory. The difference was not all that great, especially given Obama's 2008 election.

As for the Republican establishment, it shows its uselessness every election. Remember Bush throwing his defense leader under the bus after 2006? Crazy. After all Democrats didn't question their ideals after 2010, and there is no reason that conservatives should do so in 2012. Politics is a strange game, and those on top today usually end up on the bottom as the nation decides their policies don't work. And liberal policies don't work, as the nation has to painfully discover every 20 years or so.

Plus, liberals claim Latinos as their own, but it is an unnatural affinity since Latinos are not idealistic adherents to the Democrats are pandering. All it will take is a strategy similar to what won the south for the Republicans in the 1970's - what really won the south, not the racist myth made by liberals.

And, what is true for Latinos is also true for blacks - both groups (to the extent that Latinos can ever be considered one group) are conservative by nature. It is only the natural stupidity of the Republican establishment - not to be confused with the natural institutional corruption of the Democratic Party - is what prevents this marriage of ethnicity, ideology and politics.

Because, when you come right down to it, the Latino and black voters don't really want what the almost entirely white, almost entirely male liberal Democrats are offering. Who would? you can't build a society on it. It is a certainty that just like it took an Obama to unite the disparate groups that make up the coalition government Obama is now stuck with, all it will take is a leader to unite the country against a group - Democrats - whose policies can only lead to ruin.

All we need fear is losing faith in the rightness of what we believe in. And if John Boehner and the others in the Republican establishment can't do it, then they should be replaced. Am I the only one who thought that the post election response by Boehner and others was just too well prepared, too rehearsed to be genuine? If these people are successful, they WILL destroy the Republican Party, since the people who now call themselves Republicans will simply stay home next election.

I've given your column a lot of thought over the last week or so, and despair of ever being able to have enough time to put together an articulate response, since there is just so much to say.

Lately, I've been watching the British Hitchcock films from the 1930's, and it is depressing to think that the culture illustrated in these films is gone - not imply the fashions etc. but the underlying cultural assumptions on which the society has been based for decades is gone. The British stiff upper lip, the dry good humor, the stoicism, has, as you note, been replaced by a nation of louts and sluts.

How did this happen? I've been thinking about that too. There is much truth in the old saying "monkey see, monkey do." In the late 1940's Brits and Americans allowed a device in their homes - the telescreen err television that carried programming created by people who first sought to modify, then when they saw the power of it, sought to destroy the existing culture. These people succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. In fact, based on the looting that took place a year or so ago, it looks like the immigrants in Britain, who are new to the television/loutmaker, haven't been poisoned by it yet. What an irony!

Not just television: look at "Rebel Without a Cause." The lead character, James Dean, who is outside the culture in many ways, is handsome and sexually successful. Compare that to the 1950's television show "Dobie Gillis" where the "beatnik" is unattractive, and sexually unsuccessful.

By the 1960's the loutmaker was enhanced by the introduction of color - the better to reprogram the culture. Those bent on destroying the old culture and remaking went into overdrive, taking a small group of California beatniks and creating/celebrating a "counter culture" that has all but taken over today.

The loutmaker is and has been on the leading edge of this great change. Monkey see monkey do - make a mockery of those who adhere to the old culture, and show those who adopt the new culture as sexually attractive and successful. The louts and sluts are nto doing anything more than imitating what they see on the loutmaker - why should they be anything other than louts and sluts when louts and sluts are celebrated day in and day out? Why would they be anything else?

Plus, when you come right down to it, who do these louts and sluts resemble? Why... rock stars of course. The adherents of the new "counter" culture are nothing more or less than rock stars in miniature - drunk, drug abusing, sexual active, who work when they feel like it ("taking care of business"), if ever, and are never responsible for anything.

Even though it is all but dead, the old culture remains endlessly mocked, portrayed on the loutmaker as unattractive, the persons in it unsuccessful sexually. Religion, which is part of the old culture is subject to the same treatment - except of course foreign religions, which are revered. Family? Old stuff. Work? For losers. Sex? Good, more the better. Commitment? Also for losers. In fact, men, the idea of masculinity, is mocked.

However, the joke is on the louts and sluts, however - the new culture portrayed as positive on the loutmaker is not self sustaining, it is doomed to failure. More ominously this new culture cannot sustain a democratic form of government.

So, sooner or later Britain, and the United States will lose the wealth and government that their ancestors put in place for their undeserving descendents. Who is to say that the citizens of Britain or the United States are entitled to live a first world life style? It takes work to maintain this standard of living, and when the people of the nation aren't willing to work, then what they have will be lost. A nation of louts and sluts will inevitably live in squalor, eking out a living while those who are willing to work build a society that is self sustaining.

It's another old story - the ant and the grasshopper. A nation of grasshoppers soon to be starving in winter - and that's when the Democratic form of government will be lost when people decide to exchange slavery on the promise of bread.

It is very hard to stand by and watch while a nation commits suicide. But, when you come right down to it, in Britain anyway, the old culture died long ago. All we have left is the movies to show what has been lost. There is going to be a certain satisfaction in seeing the louts and sluts get what they deserve, along with (hopefully) those who have programmed an entire nation to self destruct.

Sally Collins "I would remind you that the civilazitions that were the most diverse were those that advanced Art, Science, Literature and Technology. " Examples, please.
Wow, I wish I was as eloquent as you. Absolutely no sarcasm intended. Wonderful (and sad)commentary.
I know you'll love this !
This comes to you from the letters B & S. I think you can fill in the blanks.
As someone who is politically and culturally conservative and who has lived in the UK for many years, I find Mr.Magnet's description of the country somewhat exaggerated. Sure you can find more than enough examples of the decline of civility. But the British middle class is remarkably resilient in spite all the attempts of the leftish cultural elite to obliterate it. Attend one of the concerts of London's four symphony orchestras, or a production at the National Theatre, or visit some of the exquisite towns that haven't been messed about by redevelopment, or visit one of Britain's excellent private (or 'public' as they say here) schools, or attend Choral Evensong in a cathedral, or walk in the countryside which has been particularly beautiful this autumn and one will get a different picture. I live in central London and it is a wonderful place. As for the National Health Service, it does have its problems and I wouldn't recommend it as a system, but one can get excellent care in it and the deaths of patients are not decided by panels. Having said all that, there is a definite leftward tilt of the culture here that is no doubt happening in the US. Somehow conservatives have to address that.
Excellent article and website.
And the sky is falling. Could it be that those who hate President Obama are simply mourning the supposed decline of "White Mans Rule?' I would remind you that the civilazitions that were the most diverse were those that advanced Art, Science, Literature and Technology. Also, regarding European history, dare we stop evolving and thinking, risking another Dark Ages. Those who presided over The Dark Ages viewed themselves as guardians of Truth, Virtue and the Will of God.
With the end of our culture as we knew it, and presumed it would last forever, Mr. Magnet's incisive, painful piece about the insoluble bond between culture and policy jolts our minds to accepting that indeed we are entering a brave new world where old truisms have stopped working. So--let us think of what do we do now as the painful exploration of using our gifts, whatever they may be, to change both--culture and eventually policy.
I agree, our nation is heading in the wrong direction and the younger generation does not understand that the money has to come from someplace. the working work harder and those that will not, cannot get greedier and everyones standard of living is lowered. It is hard to undo a government that is becoming so entagled in our lives.
The most insidious component of Mr. Obama's advocacy is his repudiation of agency. We are not the captains of our fates, the architects of our outcomes.
For those who fail, this is "through no fault of their own". For those who succeed, they "didn't build that".
This reminds me of that curious component of the homosexual advocacy: whatever our orientation, we were "born that way".
So apparently we are but leaves in the wind, passively distributed into success or failure, and this or that sexual orientation.
Then of course it is only "fair" to redistribute the apparently unearned wealth of those who have passively received it.
It is truly disturbing to recognize that Mr. Obama did not bring us here; we were already here. Mr. Obama's success in politics has come from identifying and advocating the inevitable.
We American seem intent o running down the path of mediocrity. We want to elevate lower segments of society to levels where they are equal without earning that position.

Minorities who fail to assimilate will eventually balkanize America and we can be just live the hovel they eft behind.

Look at blacks, centuries in America and yet they want to be tribes of animals.

America's greatness is now behind her as the browning of america begins and decline sets in.
What "Bon temps jolie" said.

I voted for Dubya first time around and also for Guv of Texas. I thought he was a good governor, but he was clearly over-his-head in the Oval Office and, with Cheney, drove our country into a ditch, culminating with signing TARP in October '08. That's the mess Obama inherited. (Cheney/Bush inherited a budget surplus, largely owed to Newt's pushing of Clinton.)

I'm not an Obamaista and do not agree with all of his policies; they run against my grain. (I note, however, that so-called Obamacare is based on Romneycare, which derives from the plan promulgated by none other than The Heritage Foundation.) But the current alternative is to toe the line of intolerance, mean-spiritedness, and the let-the-facts-be-damned ignorance of the narrow-minded zealots who currently hold the reins of the Republican Party.

I hope that I live to see the day when a moderate Republican again has a place at the table. The country will be *much* better off with a credible counterweight to the Democrats.
Without question, this has summarized my experience as a 65 year old US citizen who can barely recognize the culture I grew up in. It has happened so quickly and within my lifetime. The sixties saw a time when rights were legislated by the Federal Government over the States and the crushing legislation that has followed, uncontested, hasn't abated. Perhaps we deserved it but I can only lament the future my children and theirs will have without the liberty I experienced in my youth and KNOW has been the legacy we have squandered as a nation for the sake of equality and security.
For those not familiar with it, the quotation below is by Abraham Lincoln in a speech he gave go a high school (called a Lyceum) in 1838 when he was only 28 years old.

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the Ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own ex-cepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 a date we will later see as one that will live in infamy, this nation committed suicide.
I'm pretty sure I found some of the nighttime circuses of drunken, vomit-smeared degradation at Covent Garden in London, without ever having made it to the stately ancient towns in search of all those clueless sluts they showed in the tour guides. It was really expensive and the snarling, shaven-headed louts kept calling me a cunt, there was a bum scaring our hotel which turned out to be a terrorist hoax rather than a guy in an overcoat.
Beautifully written prose and penetrating insight. Yes, we are a nation in decline compared to our self-perpetuating myths of who we once were and what we once stood for. But there are no more frontiers to conquer and our young men will have to content themselves with Call to Arms type video games as electronic proxies for a lifetime of adventure and exploration.

We no longer have the luxury of vast distances to insulate us from our enemies. Fortunately, our neighbors to the north are a decent, peaceful people and our neighbors to the south are incompetent and lazy. How we developed as a nation was heavily influenced by those time and distance factors but we were never really all that exceptional as a people, just blessed with good fortune.

Today, we are wannabe Europeans in training and perhaps it’s time to realistically assess our options. Obama is all we have unfortunately but he can and will redefine our nation’s role among the emerging giants in the Far East.

We no longer have a rational excuse for maintaining military bases in Europe; providing young Americans as hostages in the event Europe is once again invaded seems a foolish Cold War anachronism. Spending more annually on military defense than the top 16 nations combined proves nothing about our nation’s character and we’ve never had a global empire to fondly reminisce over like the Brits. We’re a little people now and perhaps it’s appropriate that a little man will lead us into the sunset.
I accept the truth of what you say and I think the right answer is that the country ought to be partitioned. It is too big and too diverse to be governed with a philosophy of one size fits all, that is a necessary concomitant of socialism
we have to wait and see
As it happens I'm re-reading portions of Gibbon Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. I can't help but think of this current politico-cultural phenomenon as a fait accompli. Obama is our Commodus - the emperor Gibbon's refers to as presiding over the fall of Rome.
Macaulay d. 28 December 1859, wrote something more interesting to read before the popular "sail and anchor" quote. With out current administration it is more like all chains and no balls.

MACAULAY ON DEMOCRACY.; Curious Letter from Lord Macaulay on American Institutions and Prospects.
On one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for vested rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalists and usurers, and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage, while thousands of honest folks are in want of necessaries. Which of the two candidates is likely to be preferred by a working man who hears his children cry for more bread? I seriously apprehend that you will, in some such season of adversity as I have described, do things which will prevent prosperity from returning; that you will act like people would, in a year of scarcity, devour all the seed-corn, and thus make the next year, a year not of scarcity, but of absolute famine. There will be, I fear, spoliation. The spoliation will increase the distress. The distress will produce fresh spoliation. There is nothing to stay you. Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.
Picked up for some reason is lately in the NYT news.

From the Southern Literary Messenger.
Published: March 24, 1860

Which is the source of sloppy quoting errors in the date, which is 1857 and in a letter to:

Outstanding!! Why can't more Americans see this is happening to them? I am sad for America, and what it will become in the next four years. Keep up the great work - thanks.
I agree with the article and its prediction of the US president. He has no business of appoligizing for the America he lives in and what they do to other countries nor his wife. She needs to be taught to respect the flag of the US and respect it. The Flag represents who we are and what we are, our army has proved that in many ways.
A Third World President overseeing the decline of our country into a Third World nation.
Appropriate. Tragic, but appropriate.
The man should in all decency have acknowledged Theodore Dalrymple because the first half of his rant is a pretty direct crib. In fact of course Britain is not like that to anything like the extent Mr Magnet thinks. By the way, Alphonsus, Macaulay died in 1858, so I can't understand how he could be making speeches in 1860.
I was reminded of how wonderfully it is now to find fictional classics quotes:
"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. … Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.'"
Irony on a grand scale ??? Where this Black Eisenhower is described with words saying he brings us "servitude, "madness," "a foreign policy so pitiful," "enslaved," and has "sealed the decline of America."

Under George Bush and shoot-without-aiming Cheney we had declined with the 9/11 attack (a cheap upgrade on al-Qaeda's 1994 Eiffel Tower plot), vastly overreacting to 9/11, virtually eliminating SEC and FBI regulation of the Wall Street and the mortgage brokers, and two years of economic denial as the country stalled and then tumbled toward a depression.

BHO turned everything around. What else? And despite political sabotage. And we are less likely to see another Abu Ghraib or "Collateral Murder." The immortal soul of this country is no longer forcibly being cast into Hell. "Thank you" seems appropriate.
Some of the comments reminded me to offer the following:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

-Ben Franklin

"Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor. As I said before, when a society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand; or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals, who ravaged the Roman Empire, came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your country by your own institutions."

-Lord Macaulay, 1860

“The more people chant about their freedom and how free they are, the more loudly I hear their chains rattling."

-George Orwell

"The Declaration of Independence I always considered as a theatrical show. Jefferson ran away with all the stage effect of that... and all the glory of it."

-John Adams

"There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

-John Adams

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

-John Adams

"[T]oday, in the world's most powerful democracy, the politicians and the propagandists prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors.”

-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. … Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.'"

It is unfortunate that we, as a nation, do not have enough understanding where this Obama led madness is going. United States, the most powerful and admired country in the world, is being ridiculed and made fun of by the most primitive and fanatical countries in the world. Where is the decisive and forceful government, which provided clear leadership to all of our allies. Why is our foreign policy so pitiful, that we have to watch in horror, how the leader of the most powerful nation bows to a ruler of a country which harbors and train most notorious and ruthless terrorists. This country is in desperate need of a strong, powerful leader like Ronald Regan, someone with unbending spine and integrity, a true Leader, not an over-educated, misguided, bureaucrat, who never had to actually produced anything useful,someone who spent most of his time behind a desk, trying to figure out how to lie to everyone.
Dear Myron. Have you any actual evidence of the things you write about or is this just all your imagination? Unless you are happy just preaching to similarly minded people, you really need to calm down and perhaps read more widely.

To me, you come across as being deranged, which is surely not your intention, but perhaps you have been harshly dealt with by your sub-editor.
How quickly has America, the land of the free, become the land of the freeloader. I'm very sad but I did see it coming. Democracy is fragile as we see. Government only knows how to beget more government, like an incurable cancer. So we march onward down the road towards nihilist Europeanization, worldwide turmoil biting at our heels. R.I.P. the great U.S.A.
Those who know of coherent, moderate and reasonable versions of this view that liberal democracy is at risk of becoming enervated (say, Tocqueville, DEMOCRACY, esp. Vol. 2, Pt. IV, 6) are unlikely to see any value in this piece. It is incoherent---notice the confusion between two different senses of being "small" in the concluding sentence, and the ambiguity about whether it is shopkeepers (Croesus) or punks who enervate a virile culture. And to describe Obama as hostile to "human rationality and civility" is on the whole record implausible (although after the recent campaign, I admit, not wholly unreasonable). What we need now is better thinking, not this sort of writing.
Mr. Rogers! Is he really blaming Mr. Rogers for the decline of American culture?! Now I've heard it all. The City Journal just crossed into the land of fruit loops.
It is hard to beat a President that gives out so called "Free Stuff" which goes to the Taker's and taken from people like me that work and pay's taxes. That means 50% the country are taker's and the other 50% are the ones that work hard just so the User's can live each day without contributiing. If we don't change the culture our country is lost!
to bls: maybe you are in your own little bubble when it comes to defining yourself a fiscal conservative. Romney was probably one of the mot liberal republicans on the planet - but fiscally conservative. He lost in part because he wasn't backed up by the right wing christians and the Dems knew this and exploited his very well. He was a successful governor of one of the most liberal states in the union - Kennedy territory. He isn't/wasn't an extremist which leads me to believe you weren't paying very close attention or you bsing the readers and/or yourself
Adonis, you seem articulate and have an open mind. I don't think you really know the man called Obama and what he has done to our country and what he is about to do. Being around law enforcement and as a former cop and military police officer in the Marines, crime is not slowing down and breakin's are getting much more violent. You do know that the Japanese refrained from attacking the mainland of the USA because they knew civilians were armed and would fight them. Now Obama has the freedom to go ahead and support the UN Small Arms Treaty designed to eventually take our weapons. You are blind to what tyep of man Obama is and you are unreachable.
It can easily get worse. Instead of decay we may find ourselves enslaved and subject to tyranny by our beurocratic civil servants.
Great Article! Tina, I remember helping my Dad the Sheriff set up tables for a Campaign Rally for Ike Eisenhower. I was abouit 6 or 7 years old and full of pride. I remember holding a youngmans head in my arms watching him die from a wound he recieved at Camp Carroll South Vietnam in I-Corps. As a young marine I was so proud to be representing my Country in a conflict I believed in and still feel it was right. Fast forward, currently upset, angry, and recieving phone calls from people like Lawyer's, Ex Military, Cops, Doctor's, retired businessmen and women desiring to join my group "Unit Seven Self-Defense - Any Weapon and Any Time". What just happened has scared the hell out of them. Like I told you at a meet in Sarasota, I teach them to kill not wound. Bad things are about to happen, more than we know. Hope to see you soon. YOu friend....
In the past this victory would have upset me a great deal. But now I can take it in peace, having realized that - like the 1973 legalization of the hiring of surgical hitmen to commit surgical infanticide - the election (and re-election) of Barack Obama is first an effect rather than a cause of the breakdown.

See, for the past 80 years or so America has in fact been nonexistent, dead, though many are understandably deceived because the name remains. The house has burned down, friends. Gone. Ashes. It's high time to stop screaming to put out the fire. Focus on your own salvation.
How anyone can defend a president that has done nothing but turn fellow Americans against each other is mind blowing. This so called leader is the worst since Jimmy Carter he will do what he has wanted since his first term. That is to make the people more dependent on the government and to totally ruin the best health care system in the world. Obama care is a total joke and the death panel will destroy the medical system in the long run. I feel sorry for the older population of this country one day you will wake up to inadequate health care. This is the a bad day for the American people a socialist President that has one thing in that little brain of his to divide the nation.
Brilliant. As a history scholar, Myron Magnet has the depth and scope to see our country's current malaise clearly.
Wonderful article, hit the nail on the head
the author is WAY too hopeful.

actually, it is over.

there is no more "constitutional" government in the united states. there is only the ad hoc vox populi.

of course, the left will come to regret this when a rightest someday arises who will argue successfully that the constitution is a "living, flexible" document, and that there were no jihadists or drug cartels in 1789, and therefore under new conditions, warrants are a waste of time and resources, and so let the roundups of the accused begin. so, too, the new, flexible constitution, in all its livingness stands for the proposition that criticism of the drone strikes that the prelude to the air strikes that are prelude to the full invasion of country "x" for "humanitarian reasons" decreed solely by the president without so much as a consultation with congress, much less a vote as the practice was established under the "libya doctrine" will not be tolerated and the dissidents mst be jailed.

in order to get their daily gruel, the people will hail the chief.

it is now the moment after jacob and esau time in america.

keevan d. morgan, esq., chicago
A fond Farewell to the Vanished World of Wonder Bread, Sealtest Ice Cream, Aunt Jemima’s Pancake Mix, Borden’s Milk, the Sears Roebuck and Co. Catalog, and All That

Election Day, 2012, will enter the history books as a seminal date in our History. For on that date, a fundamental transformation of the American character took place, a change long since in the making, with the resounding and embarrassing thrashing of the Republican party (the party of the old guard) by the party of the future.

I remember looking at Romney during the long campaign and I kept asking myself: Who is he representing? Who is he talking to? I could never figure that answer out.

Romney and Cia. went down in ignominious defeat precisely because he was representing an America that no longer exists – even in the Midwest. (After all – and just as an example- our first “openly gay” senator just elected to Congress is from Wisconsin – as “heartland” a state as you can find. Not only that, she’s a woman to boot. (Talk about a double whammy).

But it was more than that. I remember those scallywag Republican leaders plainly stating things like “Our main job is to deny Obama a second term” and “We will not cooperate with them at all” and so on. They should have been forced to resign if that was their attitude. People like me clearly remember all that and vowed not to forget it and let no one else forget it either.

The 30s, 40s and 50s are over. They simply are. It’s a new ball game with different players. The sea change that has taken place is now a permanent part of the American panorama. Those who refuse to admit it and to adjust to it are simply living in the past and becoming more irrelevant and inconsequential as time goes on.
In punishing Romney the better candidate, the American people have punished themselves, and sealed the decline of America.
Thank you for this piece of sober reflection. I don't think I'll live long enough to see how it all turns out but rest only in the fact that God is in charge. I hope that better days are ahead,but nonetheles, His will be done...
Another superb City Journal commentary which almost makes me cry to realize that others share my despair at what the election results say about our country.
My goodness, your grapes are even more sour than Herman Cain's! Puh-leeeze! Now, now, now. Let me tell you what's good about Obama, sonny boy. He gets people moving. He is the great motivator. And with any luck, he'll finally get congress and the senate to reconcile. For further details see my blog:
What is wrong with being a shopkeeper? Britain was glorious when it was a nation of shopkeepers. Britain became the slovenly land of losers only after the pinko fascist policies invited taxes and war (hello, America).
The universe is cyclic. Nature is cyclic, feelings are cyclic, cultures are cyclic, economies are cyclic. Soft turns to hard and hard turns to soft. Small turns to big and big turns to small.
Obama really wants us to be shod with bushkins. A fate worse than Obamacare
But the Lydians I pray thee pardon, and lay upon them commands as follows, in order that they may not revolt nor be a cause of danger to thee:--send to them and forbid them to possess weapons of war, but bid them on the other hand put on tunics under their outer garments and be shod with buskins, and proclaim to them that they train their sons to play the lyre and the harp and to be retail-dealers; and soon thou shalt see, O king, that they have become women instead of men, so that there will be no fear that they will revolt from thee."
excellent! bravo!
I see some revisionists have landed on your site!
Thank you, very much for this insightful and thoughtful piece of writing.
Sir, you have captured in a few paragraphs what is now before us. We are the late, great United States; the sands have run out; our hour is at hand. We are to go the way of Athens and Rome and perfidious Albion, and indeed the way of all democracies -- even as John Adams prophesied.
Well lets see. Crime declining? Check! Alcohol use declining? Check! Teen sex - and pregnancy - declining? Check-a-rooney! Bloviating old men harumphing about the collapse of society now that the wrong sort of fellow is back in the Whitehouse? Check!

Myron old bean, the fact that Americans occasionally question the wisdom of running around the world threatening to obliterate anyone who gets in their way isn't a sign of the decline of anything. You seem to hint at it yourself, you trimmer.

Neither is it worrisome that some Americans - and some others - wonder if geometric growth can continue indefinitely in a closed system like the good old planet earth. Not all societies were as obsessed with "growth" as some of the men you toady to, you courtier. Ancient Greece, for one. But of course to suggest that maybe we ought to hold off cutting down the last tree and damming the last river - not common sense, but the mark of cringing cowardice and a lack of manliness! (We've actually already dammed the last river, but you get the gist.)

You're swatting at a straw man, and a tattered one at that. There's nothing sentimental about a coal mine (don't worry, you'll never see one) and lord knows there are plenty more of them in the land than the NPR stations you and your think-tank chums fret about.

How a moderate Republican like Obama gets painted as the source of all this wimpiness is a mystery. Do you ever actually get any fresh air?

You'll probably agree with most of this.

Here in the US, young Anglo-Nordic Americans aren't so much ashamed of their history as they are for pot and free contraceptives and gay experiences. Non-white young Americans just have fun putting down such whimpy whites.