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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Republic, if you can keep it.

Whoa--someone needs to tell Thomas Sowell to get a grip.

When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can't help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.

Yiiiikes. The only good thing I can say about this is that at least he said it while a Republican was in office.

Stop wondering. By its very nature, a coup means that the nation's end has arrived. Leaving aside the insuperable moral problem, there is also a pragmatic one: in a continent with a widely dispersed population, a coup attempt buys you a civil war. Which, given the fact we are the most technologically-advanced nation in human history, means destruction on a hellish scale. Think Espana 1936, with the full goodie-bag of American military hardware at the opponents' disposal.

Oh, wait--that gets you back to the "insuperable moral problem" again.

Deep breaths, Dr. Sowell.

Yes, the country is filled with a dismaying number of non-thinkers with grievances inversely proportional to their capacity for logic. Yes, the nation is culturally fissiparous, with pockets of selfish, stupid, navel-gazing hedonism that makes Cabaret look like a celebration of Calvin's Geneva.

But that's no reason to look for a shining man on horseback, come to save us all. Look what all that "solution" has done for Latin America, Southern Europe, Africa, Eastern Europe, etc. throughout the ages.

Consider: (1) the non-thinkers really don't mean it. Take, for example, the 9/11 un-Truthers.

Please, dear Lord, and soon.

In the case of the un-Truthers, it boils down to a lazy mental pacifier used to medicate the pain of defeat at the polls. They don't mean a word of it, deep down. People who really believed this crap would do something more concrete than, say, posting hit and run anonymous comments on blogs. I mean, if you really believed the Chimpy McBushitlerburton Regime blew up the WTC, you wouldn't shrug and go home every night to watch Futurama reruns on Adult Swim. Not very Founding-Fatherish, when it comes down to it.

Ditto climate change alarmism. If Sheryl Crow were as terrified of global warming as she claims, she wouldn't travel with a retinue that would make an Ottoman Sultan pull up short.

"Hey, Sherry, that's a little over the top, don't you think? Four buses? Less is more, hon. Less is more. Except when you're talking 'harem.' Hi-yo! Speaking of which: How would you like to join? Lately, I've had a hankerin' for 'clueless' and 'bony.' Whaddaya say?

(2) Selfish hedonism solves itself in the medium term. People who are too busy surfing for the latest Thai animal p**n are not going to be movers and shakers on the political scene.

None of this is to deny that there are serious problems in the culture and the body politic. Nor is this to say that one shouldn't take steps to protect himself and his family from the cancers in both. I'd argue it's a duty, and the steps involved may be extensive.

But a counsel of despair is self-defeating, and just as destructive in the long term. After a decade and a half of hippies, the country elected Reagan. The electorate that swept the Dems to power in 2006 did so only after the Democrats promised to govern like adults and even tossed some counter-cultural pro-life candidates into the mix. Their actual record in power isn't particularly encouraging, but there are still grounds for hope.

Hoping for a coup? Come on. That's a declaration of surrender.

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