Tuesday, November 10, 2015

As American as strip-searches

Mark Steyn's just posted an essay about the ever-increasing tyranny of life in the United States. This time it's about the royal right-to-push-around exercised by the Once and Future Queen, Hillary "Sag-Hag" Clinton.
On Monday, the former Secretary of State, who currently holds no public office, filed her entry as a presidential candidate in the New Hampshire primary. This is a formal requirement which these days candidates turn into a promotional event. However, in the four decades he has served as New Hampshire's Secretary of State, Bill Gardner has never been treated as contemptuously as he was yesterday by Mrs Clinton. Her Secret Service detail required that Secretary Gardner submit to a humiliating pat down for the privilege of entering his own office to participate in Hillary's crappy photo op.

Steyn goes on to lambaste the Secret Service:
As for the Secret Service agents willing to do this, they too are beneath contempt. This is a stupid and wasteful agency that can't secure the White House grounds or keep its hands off Cartagena hookers, and used its money-no-object to budget to fly a bazillion agents into South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral to stand the President three feet away from a violent schizophrenic with a necklacing conviction. Even so, what sort of depraved husk of a human being do you have to be not to understand that what they did to Mr Gardner is not only inappropriate - they're guests of his - but ultimately profoundly corrupting of the integrity of the republic.

But I think he misses the deeper problem: I don't think Americans DO see this as an abomination. On the contrary, except for a few conservatives who still can remember the traditional virtues of freedom and independence, most are perversely proud of these sorts of excesses, if they notice them at all. Unless people are personally inconvenienced by some blimped-up security cavalcade shutting down rush hour traffic as it lounges its way toward the airport, nobody really cares.

The hooker scandals elicit a sort of roguish "Boys will be boys" chuckle, with an assumption that such tough men, in such tough jobs are entitled to their carnal pleasures. And Americans almost seem to relish the sight of their bosses' flunkies kicking sand in the faces of weaker men. As America becomes softer and soggier everywhere else in the world, its citizens retreat into a sort of illusion of toughness, where this sort of theater substitutes for real strength.

I've visited enough blogs and forums to know what to expect if someone edges a little too close to the crime of lèse majesté. Merely pointing out that back in the day, when America was a real country that counted, someone like Obama or Hillary Clinton would have ended up like Huey Long, is enough to call forth immediate chiding and gleeful predictions of "a visit from the Secret Service". Everyone thinks it's the greatest thing in the world, and is eager to assure any minders from the regime who might be reading of their eagerness to help round up the badthinker and turn him over for appropriate treatment.

Once upon a time, kings of England could send a man to the Tower with nothing but a signature. Now America's monarch can send a scapegoat to jail with a lie, and people just shrug and figure that's how things are in "the greatest country on earth".


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