Mark Steyn has a piece up, The Death of the American Idea, on National Review Online.
It's fine as far as it goes, but there are some false assumptions that need to be addressed.
First there is his horrible maligning of Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge McDuck may have all sorts of wealth stored in his money bin, but he is spreading the wealth at unprecedented levels. Last I heard, he had his money invested in every single major industry - from diamond mines, rubber factories, automotive factories, the hotel industry, farms & ranching, the service industry, from top to bottom, down to and including popcorn street vending. Scrooge would not be on the board of Halliburton - Halliburton would be just a tiny subsidiary of McDuck Enterprises.
There. That major fauxpas addressed we can now address some of the minor ones.
Steyn writes about the death of the American Idea. His assumption is that America was born around the rallying cry: "No taxation without representation" and this is another false assumption. America was born of dissatisfaction with a government that intruded unnecessarily heavily upon the lives of its citizens. The people living in the American colonies were uniformly fed up with their homelands, with England, the decadent French republic and the rest. It was this dissatisfaction and general sense of persecution that spurred them to leave. Today, such dissatisfaction, finds its contemporary counterpart in the masses leaving California and its oppressive, anti-business, collectivist mentality. Now, states like Arizona are the champions in growth while California, overrun by free-ride illegals and their spawn and mismanaged by collectivists, destroys its legendary wealth generation capability.
No, sadly, America has never been as sharp as Steyn paints it. Selfishness and greed have always been present in large quantities in the masses living here. What it did have was exceptionally smart individuals who could lead these masses intelligently - that is what America needs now. The founding fathers were not politicians. They were entrepreneurs and businessmen and had little desire to spend their lives in politics. Politics was descended into by these men out of necessity. Today, our politicians are nearly worthless. Steyn accurately points out McCain's leftist policies and the current bumper crop of GOP politicians who clearly have no real understanding of wealth generation or conservative administration of government.
Hoping for the greedy American masses to come to their senses and not live "on the dole" is not going to happen. The left in America is made up primarily of poor minorities, illegal aliens and their descendants and public school educated, city-dwelling women who never refused any liberal concocted gift horse or pandered government handout. Only the white male demographic voted for the "conservative" this year. All the rest voted handout. An IQ breakdown of those booming Obama demographics does not look very pretty - or promising for America. The change for 2008 is that America is now dumb and becoming dumber. Our public schools, saddled with the new burden of teaching English as a second language in the formerly cutting edge western states, is now failing it's students on a scale that can only be called gargantuan. Math, reading and history are at all time lows. The qualifications of teachers are abysmal. The political undercurrents and indoctrination in the classroom perpetrated by these low quality teachers on their young charges is off the charts. By undermining the potential of each next generation, our schools do far more damage to our national fabric than any terrorist attack ever could.
Steyn points out the future does not look bright for America. That assumption is right on the mark. Politicians will continue to fail us. Now, we must look outside of an already contaminated government for leadership. The bloggers of today are now put in the position of the founding fathers of 200 years ago. They are the ones with a bit more intelligence, a rallying cry and the energy to educate and assist their neighbors and fellow citizens in embracing a more intelligent course. They are the ones who are forming organizations to better this nation's mental prospectus and keep this nation moving forward constructively. They are the only ones left who can wage the revolution against the "nanny-state sirens."