Day by Day

Monday, September 12, 2005

This I excerpt verbatim...

...for I've nothing to add.

So, you're unexcited about both Bush and Clinton. And, I suppose I can assume, the widely-acknowledged weaker recent one-termers, Bush Sr., Carter and Ford. Presumably you're not so unusual as to be a great big Nixon or LBJ fan...

So that leaves maybe Reagan or Kennedy as the only candidates for a good President in the last 45 years? That's some high standards you've got, man.

I only make the comment 'cause what you said is, I think, symptomatic of a modern American disease: we don't know when we have it good. Unemployment has been at 5% for 23 years, and inflation 5% or less -- and we bitch about the terrible economy. We freak at a war that claims 3 lives a day and maybe 6-8% of the Federal budget -- our grandfathers who fought in Okinawa would be ashamed of us. A huge hurricane roars ashore in the Gulf Coast and -- mirabile dictu -- not more than probably a few hundred people are killed, and generally speaking most everyone is being helped and is OK within a week or so, despite the enormous destructive force. But, oh dear, that's some monstrous failure at which fingers must be pointed.

Eh, I tell you, any of our ancestors would be ashamed of our squeaky weeniedom. They hacked out a country from wilderness, natural and human, and wrestled with awful terrible questions, from freeing ourselves from slavery and struggling to erase its lingering consequences, to beating back the poison of fascism of the left and the right across half the civilized world. *And* they went to the Moon, discovered penicillin and heart transplants, invented transistors and sliced bread. Well, I lied about that last one...

What are we leaving our children? What are we daring? Why would anyone a hundred years hence consider calling us a Great Generation? As opposed to one of the most spoiled and whiny generations of Americans ever? I'm hard pressed to say.

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