Election of Obama a symptom of decay 0

It ought not to be surprising that a Muslim should write what Salim Mansur has written in this letter; or that the friend it is addressed to is Jewish; or that a professor in an American university should write it; but it is surprising on all these counts, especially the last.

Here is part of what he writes:

Just ponder how a third-rate community organizer — from the most incestuously corrupt political region in the U.S.; with a record of participation in the most vulgar gathering of Jeremiah Wright posing as a reverend, spouting Fanonian rhetoric and bigotry; with mentors such as the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; channelling the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Rashid Khalidi of the Chomsky school of self-loathing and sophistry — could advance through the ranks of American politics at an astounding speed, with little or no record of experience in government, to become the 44th president.

There is not a very long arc connecting the joyful news of Soviet disintegration with the painfully distressing slide of American politics framed for posterity in the election of Obama. … [T]he presence of the Soviet Union placed upon liberal democracies, led by the U.S., a discipline and a check upon the excesses and follies of democracy. But once this discipline was removed it [led] to a bacchanalia in the West, the near instant raising of the slogan “end of history” even as the dust from the tearing down of the Berlin Wall had not settled, and this lack of discipline combined with the “flower children” of the sixties coming of age and grasping for power, [brought] about a situation that would do more damage than the old men of the Communist plutocracy could ever deliver without committing suicide …

[A]fter 1992 we have been in the state of enjoying our unrestrained appetite for endless orgy, the zeal that comes to declining bodies from the artificiality of induced eroticism by pills which give to narcissists of the “sixties” generation the pathetic sense of immortality. These are the folks the people have elected to run their lives, protect their cultural legacy, hold back the enemies of freedom, maintain balance of power in strategic and vulnerable regions of the world and … maintain the promise of the present and inheritance of the past as trustees for the unborn generations of the future.

Ten years after 9/11, we, the broad public of liberal democracies, still have not fully grasped the meaning of that horror-filled morning, or understood without any apologetics or polemics the evil nature and ideology of the men who planned and executed the deed. We remain more or less preoccupied with re-litigating the debate over the decision by the Bush administration to take the war declared upon the West into the heartland of the enemy and expunge them; and instead of faulting Bush for not going far enough at home and abroad in defeating the Islamist jihadi assault on the West, for reasons that have everything to do with the nature of our corrupted polity, we have contorted ourselves to find the right mix of appeasement.

The fault, as Cassius reminds Brutus, is in ourselves, a decaying civilization that will be saved (if it will be) not by the snobs in Washington and New York, London and Paris, Rome and Berlin, but by our version of the unsophisticated children of truckers who are now waking up from the drug-induced stupor of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. I have hope, the eternal hope of a fearful heart, that the West will survive and yet again gather speed, but how sad are the losses and tears that have piled up — with more to come. They could have been avoided if we, as a people, were not so irresponsible or unfaithful to our history as to place at the head of our societies leaders so unworthy and clueless as the one who so unfittingly occupies the seat of Washington and Lincoln, at the head of this great republic.

Salim Mansur is a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario.

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