Jul 17, 2015, 06:58AM

The Great American Delusion

Americans are a simple-minded people.

Rsz american flag.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Watching Americans grapple with moral complexity is like watching a monkey trying to figure out a Rubik’s cube. Americans are a simple-minded people, disinclined toward the study of history or philosophy, imbued with a fiercely Puritanical distrust of leisure and the opportunity for self-reflection. Americans prefer their moral choices presented in stark black and white, good versus evil, with no nuance. Americans see themselves as the Divine Nation, Zion: that is and was the philosophical core of Manifest Destiny, the inherently psychopathic delusion of American exceptionalism. America is not a nation. A nation is defined as a geographic region inhabited by a people sharing a common heritage. That definition ceased to apply here as soon as the first European colonials arrived, like swarms of Orcs from the East. The history of the Western Hemisphere is like Lord Of The Rings gone wrong.

In a mere 200-odd years, the USA transitioned from a small group of disparate colonies warily united against a foreign despot despite a great deal of mutual antipathy to the most well-armed and bloodthirsty empire the world has ever known. Our Civil War served as the crucible, the baptism of fratricidal bloodshed that would endow us with the mutual covenant to proceed west on a campaign of genocide unlike anything the world has seen before or since. Our completely unnecessary entry into the European internecine conflict known as World War One resulted in the evisceration of Europe and the Ottoman Empire, resulting in the horrific bloodbath of World War Two, the 40-year Cold War against the USSR, and the ongoing disaster in the Middle East.

Ask typical Americans about any of these events, and you’ll get a dumbfounded look, if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, you’ll get your nose broken. Americans can rattle off arcane details of sporting events long past or which current celebrity is in rehab, but most of them are completely unaware of the fact that Iran hasn’t initiated a war of aggression in over 200 years, or that one-third of the Palestinian population is Christian. Most of these morons think that Russia “annexed” or “seized” Crimea, blithely unaware of the national referendum in which Crimeans voted nearly unanimously to rejoin with Mother Russia. They think the Charge Of The Light Brigade was a sale on CFL bulbs at Home Depot, if they think of it at all.

Some of them read books, fiction mostly. Mostly bad fiction; sometimes great fiction, under the duress of a high school assignment. Most Americans of a certain age are familiar with the greatest one-hit wonder in American literature, Harper Lee. Her To Kill A Mockingbird is the very definition of “beloved masterpiece.” Like most people with an IQ above room temperature, I have my suspicions regarding the release of her earlier rendition of the story, Go Set A Watchman. Had she wanted it published, she most certainly would have released it before now. As things stand, America has its knickers in a twist not over the exploitation of a dying woman who is clearly non compos mentis by her guardian, but over the presentation of a classic American icon of justice, Atticus Finch, as an unrepentant and open racist. They cannot comprehend how a man could at once be devoted to justice and harbor racist beliefs. They don’t grasp the difference between active and passive bigotry. They don’t know or care to know that Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, former Klansman, was the only man in the Senate with the guts to stand up to the tyrant George W. Bush when it really counted, when W was at the peak of his cornpone Caligula impersonation.

They think that Vlad Putin is a “bully” because he thwarted our ambition to topple the secular government of Syria on our crusade to Tehran, because he busted a pack of George Soros-backed mercenary sluts for desecrating a cathedral, and because he refuses to surrender the ancient Russian nation to the cultural imperialism of the morally flexible multicultural American Empire.

They think that single mothers on welfare and food stamps struggling to survive and feed their kids are deadbeats, but think nothing of subsidizing multi-million dollar stadiums for the bloated and completely unnecessary National Football League, a non-profit corporation which pays no taxes and provides steroid-laden wife-beaters, animal abusers, and rapists with extravagant salaries for inflicting concussions on one another in public.

When I think of the incredible hubris of this country and its anencephalic and heartless citizenry, I think of the Greek goddess Nemesis, and an old Elvis Costello lyric: “She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake.”

  • There needs to be another category of word beyond adjective, noun, and so forth. It would be...exponentialer or something. And we would put it before "arrogant, superior know-it-all who has nothing to go on" when describing the author of this piece.

    Responses to this comment
  • I'll assume this is a rant and Cabal isn't trying to be ridiculous or humorous here. He assumes that those with the loudest voices and smallest intellects represent all Americans. His stand with Putin on Syria and Crimea is interesting. Though I agree with him on several points, he takes on the "Simple-Minded American" persona as he rants against it. I'm not sure what Cabal was trying to achieve, perhaps to embarrass himself. He's succeeded that.

    Responses to this comment
  • Having followed Cabal's journalism for some two decades, we think he's a free man expressing his sincere beliefs in a world of publicists who, to paraphrase Lady Astor, would rather suck up than be blown up. He has guts, in other words: the quality that free speech is meant to express. The notion of the simple-minded American is not inaccurate. Our system of education fails to encourage true critical thinking and moral independence. When a friend was asked whether he had seen the last Presidential election debate, he replied, "I'm a lawyer. I bill my clients $400 an hour to lie to me. Why should I let those guys do it to me for free?" Alan is right on so many points: there was no need for us to enter World War I (unless bailing out the bankers who had lent money to the Allies counts); the consequent destruction of the central European and Ottoman empires destabilized Europe; and his comments on Iran, the Crimea, and the Palestinian Christians are founded on fact. His observations on "Go Set A Watchman" express the suspicions of many intelligent people, although as my household works its way through the book, we're surprised at its power and beauty. We too admired Robert Byrd, and have never felt that a terrible error in youth was unforgivable. Last and not least, his take on organized sports, that parasitic drain on millions of taxpayers in cities across the nation, too is right on point. Why not argue with his facts, if one can, rather than indulge in ad hominem attacks and expressions of mere personal taste?

    Responses to this comment
  • Great to hear from you, Bill, and thanks for the comment. Just a couple of observations of my own. It's said Korea is the "forgotten war," but WWI is barely touched upon in schools today, as my kids can confirm. Also, it shouldn't be forgotten that Wilson, who campaigned in 1916 on not entering the European conflict, not only reneged on that promise, but then suspended the First Amendment, jailing some 10,000 Americans for expressing, both verbally and in print, their opposition. On the matter of public financing of sports facilities, I'm in almost complete agreement. It's not right to dun citizens, whether they like sports or not, for a project that wealthy owners can afford. The new Yankee Stadium is a good example, as is the new park currently being built in Atlanta, and going back a few decades, Baltimore's admittedly splendid Camden Yards, which abuts the Inner Harbor. One exception, I'd say, is the Washington Nationals new stadium, which was built in an impoverished neighborhood, and has provided jobs and retail opportunities.

    Responses to this comment
  • I am honored by your praise, Bill. Thank you.

    Responses to this comment
  • The Allies all figured the US was late. In fact, according to Marshall's memoirs of his service, the German resistance was fading by the time the US got its line troops up, mostly in 1918. There were, as he said, "soviets" in the German army talking to each other by radio. Anyway, to put the end of the sick man of Europe against the US is idiocy. See Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia. Wilson is considered a crypto-fascist in conservative circles. But to blame him for US entrance into the war is silly. Circumstances change. FDR also said something of that sort. To call the whole complex of Cabal's examples a matter of simplemindedness is also really, really nuts.

    Responses to this comment
  • Totally agree that sports owners extort money from city residents, so the billionaire ends up getting the subsidy. The U.S. has become a paradise for billionaires. One thing I would add though is that even though the NFL front office is some sort of S-corporation that makes it tax-free, all the money is in the franchises, which pay taxes. I don't think the front office generates any revenue

    Responses to this comment
  • So you are agreeing with Alan, since you say calling calling his examples simpleminded is really nuts.

    Responses to this comment
  • Did the US entry into WW I make Sykes-Picot, disassembling the Ottoman Empire, possible? Sheesh.

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment