Saturday, July 07, 2007

Evidence of a deranged mind

By Michael J.W. Stickings

There is pessimism afoot across the land, and rightly so. America is mired in a disastrous war in Iraq, the economy (even when successful) leaves millions behind (and it has hardly been a rousing success in recent years), millions lack health insurance, the so-called war on terror has given way to partisanized fearmongering (even as the terrorist threat remains real and potentially far more lethal than 9/11), the Constitution and Americans' civil liberties have been trampled by a reckless president, as well as by an incarnation of evil he calls his vice president, democracy has been weakened by this administration's overt and virulent authoritarianism, which includes illegally spying on Americans and torturing detainees, the country and its citizens are swimming in rising debt, China and Europe are emerging as rival superpowers, North Korea and Iran are developing (or so it seems) nuclear weapons, much of the world simply hates America, and...

The list goes on and on. I'm sure you can fill in the rest.

One would be right to think, would one not, that something is rotten, horribly and perhaps irredeemably rotten, in the state of America. That the American Empire is in decline, and falling. That an existential crisis, political and psychological, has engulfed America.

But that's not the view of Krazy Kristol.

In a column in Time (via Think Progress), Kristol acknowledges that most Americans "think the country is on the wrong track" and "disapprove of the job performance of President Bush," but he attributes this not to some grand decline and fall, nor even to failed political leadership, but to "adolescent moodiness," the sort of moodiness that is common but not really serious, and certainly only temporary. Americans are just "moody again," that's all.

Oh, thanks, Bill. Thanks a bunch.

Not being American, I can't speak for Americans, and won't try to, but I'm sure they'll be happy to learn that they're just moody, and just in an adolescent sort of way -- especially the ones without jobs, without health insurance, without security, you know, the ones living in impoverished, crime-invested communities where there isn't much hope at all.

I used to think that Kristol, for all his ideological inanity and insanity, was a smart guy. Not so for some time, and certainly not now. And this analysis of "the public mood" is simply appalling. For all his (gentle) criticism of Bush and the way things have been done in recent years, he is not just neoconservatism's smiling fool but one of America's most simple-minded cheerleaders. Consider:

It may well be that no other country has ever been stronger than the U.S. today -- and it may well be that no other people in human history have ever had it quite so good.

This statement is evidence of a deranged mind, of a man who has lost his mind. America is in trouble, on multiple fronts, and no amount of wishful thinking and happy talk will make that trouble go away.

One wonders if Kristol was on ecstacy when he wrote this piece. For he has most surely narcotized himself against the truth.

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