Europeans don't understand America, or else regard it with false naïveté. You don't hear many wondering how the Russians can be so high on Putin, and yet Iain MacWhirter, who's supposed to be some kind of experienced political reporter, can't figure out how Americans could elect a nutjob imperialist after eight years of nutjob imperialism. Why, it's almost as if America is a nation of nutjob imperialists.
But that is not precisely true. Mencken famously said that the American and the Russian were of the same piece, naturally ignorant, superstitious, and prejudiced. We're a nation of serfs and peasants, like any self-respecting empire. Foreigners who wonder how Americans can be so credulous, ignorant, xenophobic, nationalistic, ad inf. have clearly never been inside one of our schools . . . let alone one of our churches. Why would America elect Whacko McCain when it could elect the Smooth Talker? Five words: Nigger with a funny name. I swear to you, World, that it really is that simple. That we can scratch our chins and wonder if it might be so is a testament to our own self-misapprehensions. Doesn't anybody read Kushner:
I hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It’s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me. You come to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean. I live in America, Louis, that’s hard enough, I don’t have to love it. You do that. Everybody’s got to love something.Sometimes I wonder if I ain't the only one paying attention.
Via Cernig at C&L