Yesterday, I listened to my favorite radio talk show host, Dennis Prager, interview Mark Steyn, columnist and author of America Alone. You can listen to this excellent interview by clicking here, and scrolling down to the first entry for Monday, October 30, 2006.
I'm still pondering these incisive remarks that Steyn made during the discussion:
"The chief characteristic of our age is deferred adulthood."
"What's the point of creating the perfect society if it's only for one generation?"
"I think the Europeans got so good at enjoying their freedoms, they came to loathe and despise those who still understand that there are times you have to fight for them. That's not just a European thing, by the way, I think it's also present in the American left to a degree."
"I say in the book at one point that the inflation of America as this kind of grand demon is almost inversely proportional to its actual threat to anybody. It isn't a conventionally expansionist hyperpower. Even benign ones like Britain-- if a royal navy warship turned up off the coast of your capital city in the 19th Century, it generally meant they had plans to run the flag up the flag pole and install a governor in your palace. In other words, even the most benign great power was expansionist in those days. With America-- people have simply no reason to fear that America will go around the planet invading countries. I think that's actually part of the problem-- America ought to be invading more countries!"
"So instead, they've inflated [America] into almost an absurd phantom enemy. I think that's what a lot of the environmentalism is all about. That in fact, because America doesn't do what Germany and the Soviet Union and all these other countries did, which is send their troops marching across borders and bombing things, they invented environmentalism to make American passivity the biggest threat to the planet. Just Americans staying at home and eating cheeseburgers and drinking carbonated drinks was using up too many of the planet's resources! I mean , when you think about it, there's no precedent for a power as unthreatening to the planet as the United States is."