Friday, January 05, 2007

Snobs


"Americans should be ashamed of themselves." Hail, the monotonous judgement of Pinko Fondamoore, average lefist Francophile. Having learned from Borat that fat racist rednecks still live in the south, or WMD from Michael Moore, Pinko is wound tight about Pax Americana's latest encroachment on the peace and prosperity of our Pacific planet, and here he is on the Allegheny Front to tell you all about it. Our bad food, our lying government, our overweight population, and our excessive suburban lives. If only we lived like idyllic Haiti: eco-friendly, transparent government, good food!

Unfortunately, all this criticism dulls one's judgment. When everything American is bad bad bad, then bad doesn't really carry any significant connotation. How is it that outrage can be dispensed equally over Abu Graib and front-page glossies of Britney's crotch and Janet Jackson's nipple?

Historically, American's could muster sufficient ire to snuff "Imperial" pillaging in the Philippines, or to demand cessation of similar imperial excesses by Spaniards in Cuba. Throughout the Cold War, the centrality of Human Rights for American at home and abroad defined America vs. the USSR. Ronald Reagan could stand before the tyrannical Berlin Wall and demand Gorbachev remove such an affront to freedom, because Reagan represented the United States. Czechs and Hungarians, Natan Sharansky and Pope John Paul II, Valclav Havel and Nelson Mandela, remain grateful to this day of America's smug, sanctimonious, rightful condemnation of injustice and inequity worldwide. Our greatest strength was not just our might, but the fact that we shamed the "Evil Empire" until it collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions.

Today, we've forgotten all that human rights bullshit. Now, the crystal clear Geneva Conventions are vague and misleading. Abu Graib, whatever. Jose Padilla, an American Citizen, shouldn't have Habeas Corpus. 6 years ago, GW's summer reading of Fear No Evil resulted in lots of backslapping and photo-op's with Natan Sharansky. Whoda thunk he was charting out strategies for Git-mo.

No comments: