America in Wonderland
Over the past few years I have had the strange sensation that I, along with the American people, have fallen down a rabbit hole and joined Alice and her band of peculiar and anthropomorphic characters in Wonderland. A world ruled by nonsense wherein what is normal becomes abnormal and vice versa thus a place devoid of any substance or meaning. It increasingly appears that the United States, not to mention the rest of western civilization, is rapidly evolving into Wonderland.
Among the more notable, but certainly not all, manifestations of this evolution into a world of the nonsensical are the following.
In 2016 the American people are seriously discussing, and acquiescing to, the wisdom of allowing men to freely use, under the guise of transgenderism, women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Yet at the same time much of society is railing against a supposed rape and patriarchal culture.
Rather than prepare the next generation to succeed in a competitive world, the administrative hierarchy on far too many college campuses are complicit in the new norm of allowing students to faint at the mere sight of or reference to anything they might slightly disagree with, while acquiescing to their demands for unlimited access to so-called safe spaces to escape this assault on their fragile sensibilities. Meanwhile many of these same administrators and students condone or promote violence and/or the denial of freedom of speech against those who may harbor any opposing point of view counter to what they, in their cloistered world, consider to be an inviolate consensus.
In the 1970’s the professional fear mongers (mostly on the Left) warned the world of an impending Ice Age and its dire impact on the globe, their solution: more government spending and centralized control of the economy. That threat failed to sufficiently strike fear into the hearts of the people so beginning in the late 1980’s Global Warming became the cause celebre. Learning their lesson from the failed Ice Age gambit, the proponents cited all sorts of “scientific consensus” to buttress their argument and unsurprisingly their solution was: more government spending and centralized control of the economy. Recently, when the actual research revealed that there was in fact no appreciable global warming over an 18-year period, the terminology shifted to Climate Change (a meaningless catchall phrase as the climate is consistently variable.) This is now “the” potential scourge of the earth and the solution: yes, more government spending and centralized control of the economy. However, in harmony with the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, these zealots now demand that all who are understandably skeptical, based on factual evidence, accept their theories and solutions without equivocation or off with their heads (through legal and government sanctioned intimidation.)
If a Christian owner of a bakery refuses, due to religious convictions, to participate in a gay wedding, that person is subject to fines, jail time and political intimidation. On the other hand, if a Muslim owner of a bakery refuses to do the same that person is left alone and afforded the right to do so solely based on their religious beliefs. An unfathomable riddle the March Hare in Wonderland would truly appreciate.
There are presently four viable candidates seeking the presidency, three are a Northeastern liberals and one is a conservative from fly-over country. Of the three liberals, one is a lifelong avowed Marxist/socialist (Sanders), another is a socialist (Clinton) and the third is a classic New York liberal in the mold of Franklin Roosevelt (Trump). They all espouse policies such as high taxes and tariffs as well as an increasingly larger role for the central government. Policies that have demonstrably failed over the past half century whether in the United States or in Europe. Yet the conservative from fly-over country (Cruz), who is promoting the tried and true concepts of liberty, free enterprise and limited government that has eventuated in untold wealth and upward mobility for hundreds of millions, is considered to be too extreme and unelectable.
Presently the Middle East is fraught with turmoil. Turmoil that is largely the end-product of feckless American and European foreign policy that has relied almost solely on appeasement and accommodation -- with cosmetic military action thrown in for appearance sake. The reality that there are no accommodations possible with those who have publically vowed to re-establish the caliphate and kill as many infidels in the West as possible seems to have eluded the current American and European governing class. Yet this myopia also unbelievably manifests itself in an open door policy that welcomes a massive inflow of unvetted refugees from regions dominated by the radical Islamists as well as acquiescing to the adamant refusal by Muslim immigrants over the years to assimilate into their respective western societies. This is the sort of logic and thought process that could only be appreciated by the Mad Hatter in Wonderland.
Alice was able to escape from her odyssey in Wonderland when she was awakened by her sister and realized her adventure was but a dream. However, there is no one individual who will awaken the American people and begin the long march back to sanity before it is too late. A majority of the citizenry is aware of the debacle at hand yet they are looking to others rather than themselves to initiate the long journey back to rationality. Electing men and women to public office, particularly the presidency, that are honest, devoid of egocentricity, knowledgeable insofar as the depth of the problems at hand and committed to sound conservative principles based on the Constitution would be a vital first, albeit minor, step in the process. But the ultimate fate of the nation and that of generations yet unborn rests solely in the hands of the American people and their determination or lack thereof. The overall outcome of the 2016 election cycle will reveal whether there is any ray of hope to escape from Wonderland.
Illustration by Richard Terrell of Aftermath