Let us not delude ourselves and pretend that the scenario plotted here is merely a species of exotic hyperbole, a doomsayer’s extravaganza. America is disintegrating fragment by fragment across the entire map of its existence, and the decline is accelerating under the worst possible president at the worst possible time. Its enemies are rejoicing and growing ever bolder in their calculations, convinced that they can challenge residual American power with relative impunity. Meanwhile, the American leadership, following the example of the president, has persuaded itself that political ineptness and blind arrogance are nothing of the sort, but farsighted acuity and strategic intelligence. On the contrary, there is not an iota of analytical sobriety to be detected anywhere on the presidential docket.
It should be mentioned, however, that some observers believe the president’s actions are by no means as clueless as they appear but are quite deliberate, that he is actually intent on subverting the nation to render it more amenable to a statist power grab and increased government control. This is the Overton Window syndrome that Glenn Beck has based his new novel upon, a tactic that promotes national crises and invokes maximal states of emergency to prepare the public to accept extreme procedures and enactments, and so to concede subsequent changes in customary cultural paradigms, in the interests of centralized authority. The Overton Window is a manifestation and restatement of the famous, or infamous, Alinsky-inspired Cloward-Piven doctrine that recommends orchestrating crises to further the ulterior purpose of the state, or in the words of James Simpson, it is a “malevolent overarching strategy” envisaging the collapse of the staple political and economic order and its replacement by a socialist regime.
Whether or not this is the case—and who can really say?—the fact remains that the United States, to quote Pajamas Media Chicago editor Rick Moran, is becoming “unmoored…from the basic principles found in the Constitution that defines our nationhood.” And when the definition of nationhood grows problematic and the sense of historical continuity is disrupted or attenuated, the scourge of communal erosion invariably sets in. This condition is materially advanced by honoring what is deceitfully called the “Living Constitution” rather than the original document hospitable to amendments. For the Living Constitution is a dead letter.
Perhaps what we are ultimately witnessing is a historical narrative whose denouement is inevitable in the natural course of events. Perhaps America’s time has come, now that it has installed a president and a party with a destructive agenda and the desire to push it through at all costs, even as the world is in its most volatile state since the 1930s and America’s enemies gather strength by the day. It doesn’t help either that this president, whatever his intentions are, happens to be intellectually frivolous and self-enamored, relying on an ingratiating smile and a supplicant media to work his will upon a partisan or credulous public. The air of supercilious folly is pervasive. Perhaps this is the way an empire ends, not with a bang but a simper.
And yet, the desolate verdict of history may still be delayed and a not-unhappy ending to the current drama come to pass, should the American people rouse itself from its torpor, find a way to purge itself of its parasitical and treasonable elements before it is too late, and unite around the inherent virtues of the country: a noble Constitution, legitimate pride in accomplishment, a potent military which functions as it is supposed to, entrepreneurial and innovative vigor, sensible economic policies, melting-pot immigration as opposed to multicultural infiltration, Emersonian self-reliance and, most crucially, limited government. Once again, quite a list, but a beneficial one, expressing the real meaning of “hope and change.”
2010 is the place to start. Only then may the inevitable be deferred, a movie remain a movie and the mythic timetable prevented from entering the realm of national history. Only then may 2012 avoid the upheavals of 2012.
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