I have not written here for some time. I have focused on my own business, my other blog whose audience is rapidly growing, and the websites that I operate. They keep me busy enough and, quite frankly, the farce going on in the North Atlantic, both sides of “The Pond”, has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous to the disgusting.
This morning, I received an email from a friend. She is European by background, but became an American citizen years ago, so she knows both sides of The Pond from experience. She’s on the road a lot, so she happens to have written from Britain, but she didn’t mention the current riots. She is an enthusiastic American citizen now and she wrote regarding the US.
She sent me an article from the American Left that she had read slamming America’s religious Right. It claimed that the religious Right was seeking “dominion over the earth”. Good grief. In any case, the gist of the article was that this vast global conspiracy was on the verge of that very “dominion”. She asked for my reactions.
I wrote her as best I could. Since I have not written here for a long time, I thought I might as well pass it along. So here goes, minus her personal information of course…
Same old, same old. Representative of the lost puppies of the North Atlantic. Demonization takes no holidays. Take the worst examples from your opponents, continuously repeat words like “dominion”. Stir up the emotions at your end of the spectrum. Same stuff I read from the Right about the huge Muslim conspiracy to take over the world. You don’t read things like that, but I get sent both.
The two ends of the political spectrum in North America and Europe are busy organizing their Holy Crusades for the battles to come on the fields of Armageddon as the Forces of Light meet the Forces of Darkness for the Final Conflict that will determine the fate of the earth. Like I said, same old, same old. It’s getting tiresome and that is an understatement.
What you sent is a standard polemic style used by people who can only inspire through fear. The “middle” is lost. It has no leaders, no spokespeople, no guiding principles, no vision, just emptiness. The two extremes control the rhetoric. This article shows no research or understanding of either the political or religious history of the United States. That is not its purpose. Its purpose is to inflame, not inform, just like those coming out of the Right. The Right and the Left are tearing the North Atlantic’s 14% (and falling) of the global population to shreds. No hope, no vision, just fear, fear, and more fear.
No one on either extreme bothers to reference the mass of data collected continuously in the US from the American people on politics, religion, the economy and so forth. It is the stability of American opinion over five decades that is most obvious. What is also obvious is the failure of the political elite to understand what’s going on and deal with it constructively. They have not lost touch with their money (heaven forefend!), but they have lost touch with the people. As a result, the center has to keep “tossing the bums out” and then be confronted with a new bunch of bums. It is becoming more and more evident that they are all bums. But there is no third alternative with which to replace them, so it’s political whiplash now and for the future.
The 20th century is dead. The US and Europe are no longer the global leaders. They are the emperors without clothes and it is very obvious to those outside. The North Atlantic has lost its common sense and, with it, its credibility.
I work with Latin Americans from a variety of nations as Panama is seen as the place to be these days. In the past, they used to talk about US politics and leaders. No more. I haven’t heard Obama’s name raised for nearly a year. Likewise, Latin Americans are well aware of what is going in the UK right now, they just don’t talk about it. The North Atlantic is becoming little more than a bunch of freak shows at the circus. Something to scare the kids and amuse the adults, but nothing to be remembered a week later.
The attitude here is simple. When the people up north decide who they want to be when they grow up, we’ll pay attention. For now, we are too busy making our own futures and we are discovering that we need the northerners less and less. We give them attention only when there is a clear reason to do so. The North Atlantic is the new Soviet Union. They can’t do much to help us, but they can hurt us, so we attend to them when they look like they’re going to hurt us. Otherwise, we have better things to do.
The US and Europe are neither loved nor hated. The opposite of being loved is not being hated. It’s being ignored. That’s the real story for the rest of us.
Extremist, fear-laden polemics like the one sent are the hallmark of what passes for “political discourse” in the North Atlantic these days. They have no credence outside the North Atlantic. Others, China for one obvious example, have their own demons, but the demons of the North Atlantic are their own and no one else’s.
Eventually, leaders will arise in the north to fill the current voids on both sides of the Atlantic. Who they will be and what they will represent is the question that no one can answer right now. I hope they come from neither extreme, but I wouldn’t place any bets on it yet.
For the moment, we have to settle for mediocrity (not bad, not good, just mediocre). That will not do for the long run, but it’s what we have for now. The future cannot be predicted, but I would suggest keeping an eye on Europe. There are no “European leaders”, just a variety of mediocre national leaders, each with his or her political agenda, and no consensus. If there is a Right and a Left that are really scary, that’s where you can find them, not in the US…yet.
In the meantime, life goes on in the rest of the world and I am thankful to be part of that.