The Uniform Reaction to a Thug's Death

It was all a little off-putting, really. Not so much Osama bin Laden's death, but the reaction to it. Of course, we saw the rote recital of "closure" coming a mile a way. Those whose stock in trade is voyeurism and contrived pathos -- journalists and on-air teleprompter readers mostly -- could not help but predictably regurgitate the "closure" cliché on those they were interviewing. If you can't be original, be repetitive.

"Closure" is squeamishly maudlin. Even those who lost family members and loved ones to the alleged diabolical behest of Osama bin Laden must wonder, what's been closed? Many of those interviewed mustered either a vengeful demeanor or a happy face in order to project a "closure" facade for mainstream consumption. But how they could possibly feel any less mournful or less hollow because a man they never met, whose psychology they never knew, was killed?  The fleeting feeling of revenge won't fill the void. 

Faux displays of empathy and demonstrative boo-hooing make good television. Mob demonstration makes almost as good television. We saw plenty of the latter Sunday and Monday when well-indoctrinated young people, many draped in the American flag, whooped, fist-pumped, and hollered in front of the White House and in New York City to promote their strain of  patriotism.

It was an odd display of conformity. In the 1960s, the young were at least cognizant and radical enough to protest the Vietnam War and conscription in order to save their own hides.

When your hide is secure, the urge to protest apparently abates. Few of our young movers protest the trillion-dollar wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You would expect one or two heretical thinkers to ask, what's taking so long? Which, hopefully, would inspire the follow-up query: are the CIA and the military much different from the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles? Perhaps today's young radicals are too preoccupied with securing government-backed student loans to bother.

As for the adults, what is their excuse for their mental lethargy and silly post-bin-Laden commentary? Barbara Walters, on The View, observed "I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running." It is really is inexcusable that a woman of her vintage doesn't know that what happens today is immaterial to what will be occurring two years in the future. 

Fellow liberal Keith Olbermann sneered his way through a typical anti-Republican diatribe, opining that bin Laden will forcefully alter the political landscape in America (in favor of the Democrats of course), before ending with "Barack Obama got Osama bin Laden." Take that George W. Bush and the Republican Party. 

How puerile to mistake covetous-of-accomplishment for actual accomplishment. Few commentators acknowledged what Obama, Bush, and their political attendants really are: glommers of other people's accomplishments.  Obama didn't kill Osama bin Laden, Bush didn't capture Saddam Hussein, thus making declarations they did deplorable.  Both men sat in cushy offices thousands of miles from the filth and mayhem while someone else did the dirty work -- work funded by property taxed from people who actually produce and accomplish.  Oh sure, Obama and Bush risked political capital, but when that's exhausted they are still guaranteed a life luxuriously lived on the public dole. 

The dearth of protests to the outright killing of Osama bin Laden is the biggest disappointment, though,  because it is the most radical protest.  Bin Laden might have been every bit as despicable as he has been portrayed, and every bit deserving of his fate.  But we only know what we've been told by government -- the same government that practices Keynesian economics, that legislates climate-change initiatives, that truncates freedom in the name of security, that educates our children for servitude.

Has the United States citizenry been so inculcated to the precept of state rectitude that so few are willing to question the state when it acts as jury, judge, and executioner? Perhaps so.

Stephen Mauzy is a financial writer and principal of S.P. Mauzy & Associates. He can be reached at