In a fine rant, Fred Reed examines the national character, and finds it wanting. We read:
The United States has become a nation of weak, pampered, easily frightened, helpless milquetoasts who have never caught a fish, fired a gun, chopped a log, hitchhiked across the country, or been in a schoolyard fight. If their cat dies, they call a grief therapist. Everything frightens Americans.
Healthy masculinity. The new America.
…This ménage of middle-school delicates is not the country that fought World War II, or Vietnam. It is a jellyfish threatening to collapse under any serious stress. Corrupt, seriously divided racially, the middle-class sinking, ruled by fools and kleptocrats, a house of pudding cannot stand. Scared, fat, weak, fragile, narcissistic, herd-minded, prissy, censorious and, increasingly, ignorant. Deliberately ignorant. This is wonderful stuff.
Read the whole thing here.
Mr. Reed’s description is spot-on, but I’m glad to say it isn’t all-inclusive. Much, perhaps even most, of America still is not like this.
Here on the Outer Cape, for example, with its brief summer tourist season, those who live here year-round must be independent, creative, and resourceful in order to support themselves. During the “sheep-shearing” months of July and August, employment abounds, but the rest of the time it’s a hardscrabble life. It seems sometimes that everyone here knows how to frame a house, fix a roof, fell a tree, catch a fish, split and stack firewood, drive a truck, cultivate oysters, cook a good meal, plow a driveway, use a gun, dig a foundation, or raise a brood of healthy kids. They are not rich, mostly, but they are strong, and they are proud to rely on nobody but themselves. And once you pry them open a little bit, it turns out they see the state of the nation about the same way Fred Reed does, and are getting more than a little steamed about it.
It gives a person hope.