Saturday, April 19, 2008

On Exceptionalism and Bitterness

Mark Steyn is always quite insightful and entertaining. While he lacks the ferocity of Hitchens, he still is quite astute of an observer of the American condition. Consider this article. Some of the best parts:
Where was I? Oh, yes. In my book "America Alone," I note a global survey on optimism: 61 percent of Americans were optimistic about the future, 29 percent of the French, 15 percent of Germans. Take it from a foreigner: In my experience, Americans are the least "bitter" people in the developed world. Secular, gun-free big-government Europe doesn't seem to have done anything for people's happiness. Consider by way of example the words of Keith Reade. He's not an Obama speechwriter, he's a writer for the London Daily Mirror. And the day after the 2004 presidential election he expressed his frustration in an alarmingly Obamaesque way:

"Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', nonpassport ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong.'"

Now, haven't I heard something like that recently? Oh yeah, Barak's "bitterness comments."
Mr. Steyn goes on to point out that the Europeans, unlike the moronic muppets in Kansas have voted their own best interests.
i.e., cradle-to-grave welfare, 35-hour workweeks, six weeks of paid vacation, etc. – and as a result they now face a perfect storm of unsustainable entitlements, economic stagnation and declining human capital that's left them so demographically beholden to unassimilable levels of immigration that they're being remorselessly Islamized with every passing day. We should thank God (forgive the expression) that America's loser gun nuts don't share the same sophisticated rational calculation of "their best interests" as do Thomas Frank, Obama, too many Democrats and the European political establishment.

I got to thinking about the above, and it reminded me of a very well appointed prison. And the socialism of Europe is a prison. While some of the countries are experimenting with individualism, the vast masses really only want their 35 hour work weeks, six week vacation and three week spa prescriptions, which does sound nice. Think about it, no real worries, concerns or challenges. But no opportunity to excel either. You are confined to mediocrity. Which, if you are sub-mediocre is an advantage, and if you are mediocre has no drawbacks. But if you aspire to more, you are going to be stopped and dragged back to mediocrity, less you disturb the other animals in their pleasantly appointed stalls.
Don't get me wrong. It is clear that the opportunity to succeed includes the opportunity to fail. And, as mentioned above, the comfort of mediocrity has its advantages. But it also steals from us the wonderful fruits of both success and failure.
For while success needs to be worked on to continue, and failure is that fraud that needs to be overcome, mediocrity is forever.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Will you marry me?


Seriously, great post. I'm right there with you...