America & the Western World - Now

Apologies in advance for the long posts.

I managed to catch up on some reading whilst waiting in numerous airports and on the many flights that we took. Mark Steyn’s America Alone, Stephanie Gutmann’s The Other War and Bill O’Reilly’s Culture Warrior. They have served to inform me and I highly recommend them, though America Alone takes the cake.

O’Reilly talks about the culture war that is currently being fought between the traditionalists and secular-progressives (leftists) in America. Everywhere you turn, leftists are waging war on traditional America, from gay marriage to abortion to soft laws for pedophiles to dumbing-down the nation’s children. They don’t do it at the ballot box, but through legal avenues as an example and its working. O’Reilly’s culture war is also happening all over the western world.

America Alone is the one that keeps me awake at night though, because I can see the demographic nightmare that he is talking about everyday. I can see it will hit like a sledgehammer in the next 20 – 30 years, perhaps sooner. He also talks about the American moment, not a call for more war, but for more will.

I believe, that American moment has passed, too many wrong decisions were made, not enough people know about it and too many concessions were made over the years for the road back to be that easy, for example the free pass the Saudis seem to get, military protection for Europe and the dithering over illegal immigration and border protection. Coming back to the Culture, read the following headlines and words I have picked up in the last 5 weeks, from ordinary people, the media and the internet in Australia and America.
They want to go to Iran now, what is wrong with these people, why can’t they just go home and mind their own business. Please get to know your fiber. I just want the troops to come home so my tax dollars are not wasted. High Schoolers against Homophobia. Democrats are good for the poor; Republicans are good for the rich. Bush is the worst president this country has ever had. More people in America watch the TV program 24, than vote. China is the next America. More than two million people are now locked up in American jails, more than in any other industrialized country. That could have been me if I just took one wrong turn, we are all the same. If we treat them like animals, they will behave like animals. American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Spend a year in Paris. America is not ready for a black, Muslim president.
Sounds very liberal doesn’t it, well you’d be surprised that many of the people who said these wouldn’t normally identify themselves as leftists or liberals, that is how far left-wing ideology has permeated into society now, either that or I know too many liberals. I don’t think the average Joe understands that anti-Gun laws, socialized healthcare, “happy holidays”, legalizing drugs, a lack of morals, soft crime penalties etc are all connected and ultimately lead to a degradation of free and prosperous society. Before my trip, the pressing concern amongst the anti-war movement was, when will the troops come home, is there an exit strategy and if not why not? While I was there I heard that the British are pulling some of their troops out of Iraq, suddenly the burning question on CNN was, is it safe enough? Much of society doesn’t see the double standard, let alone question it.

Cultural confidence, what I saw from my visit is that Americans seem ignorant of their impact on the rest of the world, not all, but a lot of them are. I have often heard that Americans are geographically challenged, that’s not the issue here, whether you know the capital of Botswana or where Chile is on the world map is irrelevant.

What is relevant, is knowing what the rest of the world is like, knowing how much better you are and knowing why you are better. I don’t think that many Americans understand that they are like a beacon in a world of darkness. If you open up the world map, apart from a few places like America, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the rest of this planet is a big no-go zone; these places are nice to visit, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, etc but to live in, that’s a whole different story. No-go zones are ok if the elements within them remain geographically constrained, but that’s not the case anymore, militant Islam is on the rise in some of these no-go zones and containment is not possible. Also, if you take America from those four countries, pretty soon the other three will become no-go zones as well.

Yet many around the world fail to see this. Many people I speak to, express anti-American sentiment in one form or another and I wonder, what the hell is wrong with us. Have we forgotten that whole cold war, Communism, Nazism thing, I wasn’t even alive then, but even I understand that the sacrifice that was made by gum-chewing geographically-challenged Americans made the world a better place.

Another thing Americans and the rest of us don’t realize, is how we look to the outside world. When George Bush comes out and declares that he’s ordering a surge and the marines and army are going to bust balls in downtown Baghdad and Sadr city. Next Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Cindy Sheehan etc are shown telling us Bush is a loser, it’s a stupid decision, waste of time, carping about Gitmo, we have to leave now, it’s a mess, the environment etc. Most people around the world have no clue who Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha are, they don’t know about Democrats and Republicans; go back to that world map and most around the world haven’t even experienced true democracy, they don’t understand that this is how they do things in a democracy, instead they see Bush (or any other leader in his position) as weak and unable to keep his insolent underlings in check. So what’s the result of this perception?
Osama bin Laden, "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." James Poniewozik counters it, “Maybe so. But when they see a supposedly strong horse later show himself to be weak, they will want all the more strongly to send it to the glue factory.”
Well, what if people see a strong horse and a weak & confused horse and what if the people are not interested in discovering who the strong horse really is? What if they knowingly go with the weak horse because the strong horse won’t kick them in the teeth for it? What if the people actively root for the real weak horse because they are envious of the strong horse and there is no price to be paid for it?

This is how people see western culture, they see first world countries and they know they are better off there economically. But they are not so sure about the culture, too often the bad bits of western culture are pushed into the limelight, drug abuse, violence, promiscuity etc Couple this with being told by westerners that an outsiders culture is just as good, often better and with no sanction for opposing the host culture, makes western culture seem divided and weak, confused even, to an outsider.

Continued in America & the Western World – The future

1 comment:

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