Conrad Black: A Weak U.S.Roundup: Historians' Take
tags: empire, Conrad Black, National Review, United States
Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, A Matter of Principle, and the recently published Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The United States, viewed from outside, is almost sleepwalking into a post-American world, with practically no audible awareness that this is happening. It may be that the media and government of the country are now so completely in the hands of people who think America’s prominence in the world is a bad thing, or think that a retreat to America will release more resources for addressing domestic problems, that a general retreat of the U.S. in the world is not judged newsworthy. More vigilant and traditionally patriotic and optimistic Americans dissent from this silence, and they also largely refrain from the ceaseless mantras about America’s greatest years’ being ahead of it (even though, as Marco Rubio and others assert, it has long been “the greatest country in human history”).
One of the observers most sensitive to the constant evidences of this decline is Peggy Noonan, the blithe spirit and fine wordsmith who was once Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter, and writes now in the Wall Street Journal. Her column on June 1 was headed “An Antidote to Cynicism Poisoning.” She again deplored the disgraceful abandonment of the besieged consulate in Benghazi, which cost the lives of the ambassador and three of his officials, and she was annoyed by the fraudulent pretense that it wasn’t a terrorist operation but merely a response to a cranky video from a freelance American critic of Islam. She deplores the official harassment of various media critics of the Obama regime. But Peggy Noonan is truly and sensibly appalled most particularly at the conduct of the IRS.
Ms. Noonan brushes aside the feeble sophistries that presidents have often used the IRS to harass opponents; the current revelations are of especially widespread misconduct, and officials of the IRS have lied to Congress and have exercised their right to silence in unusually suspicious ways. What occurred in 2012, she correctly remarked, was that a Democratic president used the Democratic political clerisy to reelect himself in a corrupt abuse of the system, followed by a glazed pall and indifferent shrug of ignorance and prevarication. The president claimed to know nothing....
comments powered by Disqus
- 50 Years Later, It Feels Familiar: How America Fractured in 1968
- Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War
- Ohio Teacher Put on Leave After Lynching Remark to Black Student
- One year in, Donald Trump has redefined the presidency
- In Trump’s Immigration Remarks, Echoes of a Century-Old Racial Ranking
- Sports Historian Explains Why She Wrote that the NCAA is the Modern Jim Crow
- Ibram X. Kendi says "The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial”
- Historians Call Trump’s ‘Sh*thole’ Comment "The Most Openly Racist by a President in Decades"
- Bruce Cole, renaissance scholar who led National Endowment for the Humanities, dies at 79
- New book lays out for the first time the full story of Cuba's Cuban Missile Crisis