I used to enjoy returning to the United States from trips abroad. Whatever the many virtues of foreign lands, none had the open and airy breath of freedom that one inhaled upon setting foot in America. Today, it is the reverse. I heaved a sigh of relief upon leaving for a brief trip abroad and, on my return from the “outside” world, I felt like I was descending back into some bunkered madhouse.
The madness began in earnest this October 7th when we invaded Afghanistan to “smoke out” Alkaydah and teach them ragheads not to mess with Uhmurkans!! The yahoos in my town took to peeling rubber in their flag-bedecked picks-ups as they leaned on their horns and screamed “yeeeehaw!!” “kickassssss!” and “Muuuuuuuuuurrrkaaa!” at the top their lungs. The town elders hung banners that read “America Land of the Free” even as Congress was voting away our liberties.
The yeeehawing and honking continued for three days. Old Glory became ubiquitous - hanging from every house and store; plastered on bumpers, on posts, and windows. The town was intoxicated with jingoistic, testosteronal self-love. Thump! thump! thump! thump!
My town did no more than mirror the rest of the country, albeit in a somewhat more primitive but at least more honest way. The fact is that the country as whole -- its leadership, its press, its populace, willfully ignorant and self-indulgent -- are wallowing in a celebration of war.
Do they not know?
While “outside” I met up with a friend of mine from Germany. “So, how is it?” he asked. I looked at him for a moment and replied, “Well... you know how it is. It’s like your country in the 30’s. All that self-idolatry and chest puffing. Ich bin stolz ein Deutscher zu sein!” He nodded pensively. “I’ll tell you something else," I said, “and like your country, Americans will not learn a damn thing until they are hit over the head hard with one hell of a 2x4.”
Whom the gods would destroy they first make A’mukans.