Has America Lost Its Innocence about the Presidency Forever?
So much of what America represents used to be based on a hallowed and unchallenged respect for the past. The presidency, universities, government–all seemed utopian and ideal thanks to the same general sanitizing that is formulaic, say, in obituary sketches.
Colleges today can still count on the public’s association of present efforts with the laurels of the past, harking back to a time when faculty and administrators were intellectuals, books were read, papers were written, discipline was rigorous, and standards were high. The buildings still look ivy-covered and affluent, but missing is the integrity and sense of mission, kind of like a church that no longer believes in God, but is happy with the social structure.
Parents who go on campuses these days are channeled into a “Parent’s Day” showcase. Appearance rules the coverup. Few realize that “hallowed” is now closer to “hollowed” out. This is actually welcomed by parents and students and taxpayers who prefer to be deluded. Counterfeit, inflated degrees still “look” the same don’t they? Universities can still guarantee an income stream based on what they “used to be.”
The presidency too seems to have been lost forever with Barack Obama in office. How could America have let this happen? No lightweight, managerial-style leader like Romney will be able to turn this around. Perhaps it’s the fault of the media who prefer extremist positions. Good presidents and candidates are brought low, bad ones defended. Handsome presidents are elected in countries throughout the West, but it’s slowly revealed that their regimes are scandal-ridden, incompetent, and lacking substance. True of both parties in America. What voters want to believe is what counts.
Mark Steyn in After America hints that the American political system will never recover while under the influence of uneducated, easily-deluded voters, as if children were finally enfranchised and given affirmative action preference as voters. Of Obama, he says that “We were waiting for a man who would have been unthinkable as the leader of a serious nation until our civilization had reached such a level of bland bovine prosperity it truly believed that the platitudinous nursery chants it teaches our children as a substitute for education are now a blue-print for governance.”
Might Charlie Sheen or Beyonce or Jerry Sandusky represent us better, guided by the machinery of liberal government? Yes, let’s side with countries like Greece and simply vote away all austerity measures. We can keep spending while there’s still money left on the credit cards. The day of reckoning isn’t right around the corner, is it? Meanwhile, keep the party going.