Steyn on going with the flow.
G K Chesterton wrote in The Everlasting Man “about the direction in which the world is going. People were so certain about the direction that they differed only about the pace”. But America’s politics barely musters that profound a conflict: AOC wants radical judges to overturn the remnants of the constitutional order; Lindsey Graham votes to confirm them all anyway. It’s not an argument about the pace, only one’s publicly stated enthusiasm for it.
As to their certainty about “the direction” we’re headed, Chesterton remarks a paragraph or two later:
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
There are a lot of “dead things” going with the stream. The United States military is utterly dead, at least in terms of being a force of influence in the world for anyone other than German supermarket managers dependent on the local base’s patronage. Thoroughly Modern Milley goes with the flow because he’s all ribbons and no chest. Pentagon press releases read like Teen Beat in the Seventies. Last Wednesday, as the chaos at the gates of Hamid Karzai International was beamed around the world, the United States Army stayed on message:
V Corps Hosts ‘Don’t Date A Jerk’ Workshop
FORT KNOX, Kentucky — V Corps Soldiers took the opportunity to enrich their personal lives during the chaplain-led single Soldiers Strong Bonds retreat in Mason, Ohio, Aug. 20-23.
The retreat, themed “How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk,” taught Soldiers relationship enhancement with a focus on the importance of picking a future partner that leads to a healthy, sustainable relationship.
The United States has picked the Taliban as its “future partner”. Are you really going to take relationship lessons from Milley & Co?
The following day, as near two hundred poor souls were blown to smithereens, the Pentagon’s irredeemably oblivious wankers were Tweeting up a storm about “Women’s Equality Day”, even as the women they abandoned are being fitted for their Sharia body-bags.
I saw on Twitter some veterans objecting to Tucker Carlson’s ongoing mockery of a military that boasts of new flight suits for pregnant fighter pilots: Yeah, right, they scoffed at Tucker, let us know when you’ve been through boot camp. The only point of boot camp is to assist in the winning of wars. If you can’t win a war, boot camp is bollocks: it does not fulfill its purpose. How can you be so tone-deaf, so self-unaware that you don’t realize that it’s not just some Faux News blowhard but near the entirety of the planet that’s laughing at you? You’ve just given the guys who pulled off 9/11 a victory bonus of 22,174 humvees to ride around in, and you’re so bloody out of it you want to talk about boot camp? Every veteran should be joining that poor shmuck who got fired the other day and demanding mass resignations at the Pentagon. And, if you’re not, carry on with the boot-camp braggadocio for the next seven decades of unwon wars, and see what things are like by then. The US military needs to be much smaller, leaner, meaner, and way savvier about the world.
I find most of the US news coverage of what’s happening somewhat narrow: on the right, it’s all about leaving no American behind; on the left, it’s about leaving none of the 4.7 million (at the time of writing) Afghan interpreters behind. Everywhere else, it’s about a world leaving America behind.
But so what? Most Americans have little appetite for the tedious chores of global hegemon; they’re already shrugging off Afghanistan for the exciting victories closer to home: Harvard’s new “chaplain” is an atheist; DC’s most elite private schools have decided that “physics classes will include discussions of social justice such as kneeling during the national anthem”; in California, high-schoolers now place their hands on their hearts before the LGBTQWERTY flag and teacher Kristin Pitzen declares, “I pledge allegiance to the queers.” There is nothing progressive or edgy or groovy about these weary provocations: American education is merely another dead thing, inert and decayed and drifting with the stream. The contempt in which it is held by Xi and Macron alike is entirely deserved.
Out there, in towns you’ve never heard of, among people you’ve never heard of, there is still life in America, but to survive they will have to give up reflex veneration for institutions that despise them. The urgent objective is to throw off this awful diseased albatross of a self-enriching know-nothing Sino-suck-up elite whose chosen frontman’s decrepitude was designed to teach voters that electoral politics is entirely irrelevant as a mechanism of change. Any meaningful course correction will not come from McConnell and McCarthy: You have to shift the direction, and the dead thing of Conservatism Inc will drift along with the flow.
To the rest of the planet, the last fortnight has made the legendary “moderate” a too perfect embodiment of the superpower as rotting cadaver. Oh, but the corpse knows who his enemies are: After British cabinet ministers were quoted in the Washington press as calling Biden “senile” and “doolally”, the Telegraph reports that Joe is bent on revenge.
Yeah, sure, whatever…
The world is moving on.
Our sole consolation is that all our precious, mollycoddled white-shitlibs here at home, Mr and MX Karen and Ken Pissypants, are really not going to enjoy where it’s going.