Mark Steyn summed it up in the opening pages of his new book After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, writing “The existential questions for America loom not decades hence, but right now. It is not that we are on a luge ride to oblivion but that the prevailing political realities of the United States do not allow for any meaningful course correction. And, without meaningful course correction, America is doomed.” He goes on to observe that “…over the last three-quarters of a century, the United States has adopted a form of government all but impervious to reality.”
I have often been an incredulous observer of our decline as a nation, as a society, and as a culture. In my thirties, when first I took note of things going seriously sideways, I was willing and able to write off my foreboding to the same sort of maladjustment older people experienced when Elvis Presley was first all the rage, or the Beatles, or Beatniks, for that matter. A non-specific uneasiness, a case of intellectual hives, so to speak, as the comfortable, stable, “proper” ways of our past diminished around me.
Now older, wiser, more cynical, more intelligent, and more informed than in my salad days, I can no longer avoid the conclusion that the inspiring words of A. Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address were hopelessly naive, though beautiful in their brevity and optimism in the wake of the great bloodletting of America’s first civil war. “…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Anyway, I’ve done little in this ether but color the thoughts and observations of my betters, and it is getting tiresome. It’s all there for any who wish to see, and for those that don’t, nothing I write will have the slightest effect. If history teaches us nothing else, it proves the lie of Lincoln’s resolve. Government of the people, by the people, for the people (if that’s what we truly began with) will, of course, perish from the earth. It is axiomatic; ALL governments will eventually perish from the earth, as have all the ancient nations. Indeed, America may be viewed as a dead state walking, and it may be sensibly argued only when the cancerous cells first took a death grip in the organism. Maybe you think it started with Theodore Roosevelt. Many would probably say that the nail was driven through the heart of America by Woodrow Wilson. Franklin Roosevelt must surely rank high among the contenders. But in any case, the flame gutters, the wick burns short.
It’s time to think seriously whether and how we will live…After America.
Consequently, herein, I lift my staring attention from the evil daily machinations of our current Enemies of the People (their name is legion, for they are many) and will widen my view to include how we can live through what’s coming. If I have hope, it is a cowardly yearning, a plea that it will not come to awful fruition until I am down finally for the long dirt nap. Ah, but my progeny; my poor daughter, my unfortunate sons, and my lovely, innocent grandchildren. There will be no refuge for them, no respite, no mortal salvation. Unless, somehow, the ship is righted in this current generation.
I will allow the adolescent belief that miracles do happen to lie in the back of my brain, and turn my energy and thoughts to preparing for The Fall. Hereafter, what I write will deal more with getting by, with remaining alive and whole, with…surviving.
Something wicked this way comes. (I didn’t make that up; some guy named “Bradbury.” Look it up. I first read it when I was seventeen, and a new American soldier.) Mr. Dark is on the march. Save yourselves.
There is the moral of all human tales;
‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory—when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption—barbarism at last.
–Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-1818)