Thursday, May 24, 2007

Decline and Fall

Why does anyone continue to take this man seriously; or have I just not been let in on the joke yet? The lastest column from Victor Davis Hanson would be unacceptable in remedial English 101. He purports to argue against American decline, but he doesn't make any arguments at all. Instead he chooses to string together non sequiturs:
The suicide murders and roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan sicken Americans. Soon-to-be nuclear Iran seems loonier than nuclear North Korea. American debt keeps piling up in China and Japan. And we think of angry Venezuela, the Middle East, and Russia every time we fill up -- if we can afford to fill up. Then listen to Al Gore on global warming. Or hear Jimmy Carter on the current president. The common denominator is American "decline."

Books by liberals assure us that our "empire" is kaput. Brace for the inevitable fate of Rome. Conservatives are just as glum. For them, we are also Romans -- but the more decadent variety, eaten away from the inside.

Anybody looking for evidence of the decline of America need only ask themselves: Would such an embarrassing column have been publishable fifty years ago, or even ten?

1 comment:

Matt Hardwick said...

You just have not been let in on the joke yet. Here's a more fictional version of it, from a few decades ago.

In one-one thousandth-hearted fairness to Mr. Hanson, it could be that he's writing for Jonah Goldberg, White House courtier Karl Zinsmeister, and the people who believe them, especially if they have political power. It's impossible to write imaginatively under those conditions, and given what I've read from him and people like him, it's improbable for the Victor Davis Hansons of the world to do so. The best they can hope to accomplish is to tell those in power or with connections to power whatever it is they want to hear.

Which is something that anyone can become excellent in doing. Especially if they have to work for a living and don't have the luxury to, say, be a gentleman farmer...