The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


It's understandable that the American media has become completely absorbed by the reality show that is the 2016 presidential race. But it's irresponsible that they downplay in-depth reports on the on-going international events for fear of creating a negative perception of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy. Just yesterday, Iranian backed militias fired two missiles at US Navy ships off the coast of Yemen while Russia continued its hyper-aggressive activities in Syria and Eastern Europe. The aggressive Iranian moves are just another example of the 'triumph' of the Iran deal, defended by Hillary Clinton as a success. It is an abject failure. The Russian moves are a direct consequence of the "reset" that was supposed to be the centerpiece of Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State. And Yemen? Just another example of the Obama-Clinton Middle-East soft-power policy that has created wreckage that will take generations to fix, if it can be fixed at all.

Richard Fernandez comments:
The "smartest people" on the planet found they were not quite as clever as they thought.

They should not have been surprised. Over the last decade presidential hopefuls have come from the ranks of thinkers without much experience in governance or the wider world. They knew all the answers -- in theory -- but none in practice. Individuals who spent all their adult lives learning how to raise money, craft talking points, perfect stances before the camera, fund opposition research, and recruit surrogates found that special skills did not travel so well in the wider world.

The election of 2016, by coming down to an actual choice between two candidates who no one particularly seems to want, has emphasized the unnatural limits from which political leadership is drawn. The system is not nearly so diverse as Bill Buckley's sample of "first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory" -- it is much more cramped, artificial, and parochial. The idea that a nation with a third of billion people could only come up with these two people to lead it is almost absurd.

Far from being cursed with the burden of exceptionalism, America is really weighed down by mediocrity and a lack of flexibility. It is trapped in the world because it is trapped in Washington. If there is one metaphor which might describe the commotion of 2016, it is that we are watching an attempted jailbreak.
"Mediocrity" is far too kind a term. We have been weighed down by leadership that is more interested in fantasy than reality. A leadership that honestly believes that: climate change is the greatest challenge facing us today; refusing to name Islamic terror will somehow cause it to vanish; 1.2% GDP and $19 trillion debt aren't a problem; high taxes are a sign of an evolved society not a symptom of a rotting government; Obamacare is a "success;" Iran will see the wisdom of detente and learn to love the West, Russia and China will decide that our lack of will is be a cause for restraint.

My guess, unfortunately, is that the "attempted jailbreak"—will fail. The elites simply control too much, using the media as a mechanism (see here, here, and here) that will convince the broader electorate to reward incompetence and failure in governance and opt for dishonesty and corruption at the highest levels. If Hillary Clinton wins the White House as expected, the bars of our "jail" will be even more difficult to escape.