By David Beilstein
IN these sundry times it becomes hard to take politics seriously. I must confess it has become harder for me to take the American culture (as a whole) all that seriously too.
Given all that, however, Mark Steyn is the gift that keeps on giving. The man is far more right than wrong and he has been ably pontificating about the weight of the screw approaching the American system if left uncorrected.
A majority of Americans told Mark Steyn to screw Tuesday, Nov. 6 – or at least they told the GOP to get lost. They wanted Barry Obama to get a do-over. A replay. How the Republican Party allowed that to appear a sensible choice is beyond me. Sure, it took decades of missteps and ill communication (thanks Beastie Boys), but I think it had something to do – besides all the other transgressions I’ve hurled at the Grand Old Party – with taking President Obama too seriously.
Nobody – Black, White or Asian – should even consider taking Obama seriously with his record of wrecking ball precision on the American civitas. Nevertheless, part of what I do is scan everything I can in the news and comment on it. I am mystified by it all. Mystified even more a House Negro of epic incompetence was reelected in spite of pressing facts.
Blog writing confined to the banal refuge of complaint leaves a bitter aftertaste. For that, I apologise. But I’m edging out on the limb where I feel the contrarian can enrich something. Offer some deeper insights – God Willing, usher in some perspectives too hot to handle, both large and small.
Which reminds me. I had the honour of re-watching David Lean’s 1962 masterpiece, Lawrence of Arabia with mom and dad Beilstein the other night. A conservative movie if ever there was one without being didactic. It’s worth a spin – so check it out if curiosity and time allow. There is a connection – I suggest – between the sweep of that cinematic feast and the kind of essay Mr Steyn writes on a regular basis. Something to glimpse upon and reflect. Whatever comes – it comes. But a take away from Mr Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia offers a line of imperishable pertinence: Big things have small beginnings. And that’s sort of the thesis if we were being formal of Mr Steyn’s best work. I said before and I’ll say it again: Mark Steyn, since the untimely passing of Christopher Hitchens, is America’s greatest living essayist.
The line in Lawrence was uttered by civil servant Mr Dryden – [played by the impeccable Claude Rains]. This proverb of presentiment clarifies a great many things about our societal orbit. Those small beginnings have germinated over the past 100 years: 1913. President Woodrow Wilson comes to mind. The big thing all these generations later for America, heavy with child (who knows the father) is at the tale end of that progressive experiment.
We are less secure, less free; and less individual than before. And the worst of it is not over.