Your last three Presidents are liars, war criminals, and completely lacking in any of the necessary qualities of statesmanship. The first is a pathological rake; the second a fool (“useful idiot”); the third is barely American (foreign father and expatriate mother).
Such perspectives as liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, Catholicism, may each have something valuable to contribute to the common good. The trouble is that American public discourse inevitably turns every form of thought into its lowest common denominator: idiot liberalism, idiot conservatism, idiot libertarianism, idiot Catholicism, etc., etc.
Clarence Thomas is an African-American. Jesse Jackson is an African-American. Barak Obama is not an African-American. He is an English-speaking African. Neither Obama nor his family have ever suffered from discrimination or from slavery in the U.S. (If, as is generally assumed, his forebears were Kenyan chieftains, then they were doubtless slave owners.)
Colin Powell is not an African-American in the true sense either, despite the Republican party having made a campaign out of appointing him the first “African-American” this and that. His parents came from Jamaica long after slavery ended in the U.S. He is, like Obama, partly white and, according to a common reference source, speaks Yiddish. Far from having suffered discrimination, nobody in the American government, with the possible exception of Chester A. Arthur, has ever been appointed to more high positions on the basis of so little accomplishment.
It is now an established fact that college students majoring in media careers are even stupider than those majoring in Education.
Americans have not the slightest notion or concern that a vast array of self-perpetuating , well-paid fakers control “higher education” and that most of the immense sums they spend are wasted. Most Americans are apparently pleased, however, that the highest paid public official in almost every State is a football or basketball coach.
The Roman and British Empires, whatever their faults, left the world better off culturally. The American Empire is reducing the whole world’s culture to mediocre, soulless, commercial entertainment. Around the turn of the 20th century there was the possibility of the emergence of a genuine American high culture. By the mid-twentieth century this possibility had disappeared as if it had never existed. There will never be any future great American art, literature, music, scholarship, law, or political and military leadership. There will be no master historian in the future, but if there was such a one, he or she would find a great subject in explaining the decline and fall of the American Empire.
Clyde N. Wilson is a contributing editor to Chronicles. A retired professor of history at the University of South Carolina, he is the author of numerous books, including Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. He is the editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun.