Another day, another reckless comment from the supposed leader of the free world, Joe Biden – this time calling for regime change in Russia, after telling US soldiers they will soon be in the Ukraine. Can anyone doubt that a powerful slice of America’s elites is itching for a hot war with the old adversary, Russia?
Yet the Ukraine is a buffer state in Eurasia, hardly the US’s backyard and of little strategic interest. Nato’s 14-country eastward expansion, a betrayal of assurances to the contrary given over decades, and other provocations including US-funded biolabs on Russia’s border have all poked the bear, which is now taking a vicious swipe back.
US cartoonist Scott Adams once remarked: ‘We’re a fighting sort of country’, as killing grounds from Syria to Afghanistan can testify. Albeit, the battles never happen on American soil, safely insulated by oceans and distance, nor is it the sons and daughters of the elites whose blood is spilt, but rather that of the deplorables. Wars involve lots of spending, which Washington and defence contractors love, and distract from Biden’s troubles at home, like record inflation, supply chain failures, energy price spikes, border invasions, race and gender rows, drug-addict sons and their missing laptops, and many more.
Whatever lunacy pops up tomorrow, and lately the nuttiness has been never-ending, there’s a strong chance that it came from the US. Critical race theory? US academics. White supremacy? Likewise. The LGBTQ ad infinitum of sexual flexibilities? America. Equity, which seems to mean equality of outcomes dressed up as fairness? America. Reworking and outlawing classic Western icons from Noddy to Christopher Columbus? Started in America. Minority rights recast as minority bullying (think transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, affirmative action, quotas, etc.)? America. Big Tech censoring alternative views as ‘misinformation’? America. Big Media acting as political propagandists, as with the New York Times admitting 18 months late that Hunter Biden’s laptop was authentic? America. Something has gone terribly wrong with US institutions, to generate such a fusillade of destructive abuse at the society that sustains them. Europe is not without shame either; enter Davos Man and the World Economic Forum’s Build Back Better push for a new, highly controlled globalist world order. Transhumanism – or the technological enhancement of humans – is their latest horror, championed by WEF pet and Israeli author Yuval Harari.
But the US is the most powerful culture on the planet and the source of our most toxic cultural poisoning, where daily it seems old verities become derided, then wrong, and finally, unsayable. At base, it’s a dedicated assault on our shared Judaeo-Christian heritage and values. Did it do good things for the world? Yes, the first proof being our globally unprecedented affluence and wellbeing, with food and shelter needs met many times over in the West. (In fact, it is precisely because we generate so much surplus that we can afford to have huge busybody bureaucracies and vast academies of dubious usefulness.) Second, look at where the migrants come from, and where they all seek to go.
But can you now argue this position? Even as we all choose to live within our still largely Judaeo-Christian communities, few espouse these values. Self-hatred is the order of the day now, where historically significant and even heroic figures of yesteryear must be reviled due to the latest virtue yardstick, and anything redolent of Europeans and their cultural values must be demoted. The Other is automatically better. Entry standards for Oscars films have just been changed, so that from 2024, films must meet ‘diversity standards covering race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability’. Stories within homogeneous communities presumably need not apply. At a dinner recently I asked an internationally known food stylist who was the hot thing amongst Australian chefs now. She mentioned Bill Granger but then ruled him out, saying ‘he’s middle-aged and white’. She too was middle-aged and white.
Back in the Sixties, American culture was white picket fences, Ozzie and Harriet, Gilligan’s Island and Superman, Dean Martin and the Rat Pack. That may well have been a whitewash of a grimmer reality, but at least clear traditional values were promoted. If people did the wrong thing, they knew it. US society was stronger: in 1965, the out-of-wedlock rate of birth for black children was 24 per cent, but is now over 70 per cent. Then, no one argued for privileged treatment based on skin, or gender or childhood. Now we can’t even say what a woman is.
US life expectancy has stagnated and is falling behind that of many other developed countries, but the US ranks high in obesity, and opiate drug overdoses are reportedly twice as high as any other country. Another report finds 75 per cent of young Americans are ineligible for military service due to lack of education, obesity or other physical problems, or criminal history.
If this sounds like America-bashing, it’s not. I am a Yankophile; America is fascinating and creative beyond any other country. It is also home to the strongest traditional communities I know of, with deeper and richer strands to its daily life than anywhere else, certainly Australia, where our Anglo-based culture lies thin upon the ground. But it is also home to the greatest public and private corruption I have ever found in the Anglosphere, with unmatched venality, greed and self-interest. It is the best and the worst of the West, all in one.
A recent horror movie The Unholy used a Martin Luther quote that seems apt: ‘For where God built a church, the Devil also built a chapel.’ Meaning, the greatest evils are to be found alongside the greatest goods. Our strongest and most powerful country can also be the most wicked and inflict the most harm.
Is America a dying empire or on the cusp of renewal? Trump’s espousal of traditional values such as freedom, equality before the law, pride in America, adherence to the constitution and electoral integrity make him the standard-bearer for defeating the corrupt elitists’ woke challenges. Whatever way it goes, we cannot escape America’s domestic melodramas. Australia is the only country that has fought alongside America in every battleground, so if a war erupts we will likely be drawn into it. A recent NBC poll found over half of Americans think war with Russia is on the way. Russia’s invasion is barbaric and wrong, but it should not be an excuse for yet another round of forever wars.
American exceptionalism can be exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. Let’s have more of the good, please.
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