Jewish World Review August 22, 2013/ 16 Elul, 5773
By Victor Davis Hanson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two quite different 21st-century Americas are emerging. The nation is not so much divided by "wars" between the rich and poor, men and women, or white and non-white. Instead, there is the world of reality versus that of triviality.
In the vast plains of the Dakotas and the American West, thousands of men and women of all classes and colors are fracking oil and gas to create new energy for millions of homeowners and commuters -- while giving America a second chance at strategic energy independence.
Yet the beneficiaries mostly ignore these elemental efforts. They instead prefer to fixate on the alleged sexual creepiness of big-city political mediocrities like
As we sleep, 7,000 miles away there are still thousands of American soldiers of all races, ages, classes and genders in godforsaken conditions fighting the Taliban to allow millions in
Meanwhile, back home, the nation is focused not on such existential struggles but transfixed by racial melodramas.
Was Oprah victimized by racial insensitively in a Swiss boutique when inquiring about purchasing a
At the end of two years of near-record drought in
The historic role of government is changing before our eyes. President Obama is making the argument that the executive branch by presidential fiat can pick and choose which laws should and should not be faithfully executed -- whether Obamacare, immigration amnesties or No Child Left Behind statutes.
The fate of the entire concept of voluntary tax compliance is currently endangered by the politicization of the
Instead, the media seem more interested in whether Obama is playing golf on
Why is the country consumed by the trivial while snoozing through the essential?
We have become a nation of instant electronic communications -- Twitter,
In prior times, writers, directors and actors endeavored to present television drama characterized by good acting and engaging scripts. Now, it is more profitable and apparently more entertaining just to film pseudo-celebrities talking, eating and agonizing over the day's banalities, as with "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
Yet sometimes we get vicarious pleasure from watching oddballs do what most of us won't or can't do. Nineteenth-century-style men who cut timber, mine gold, drive big rigs and catch fish on the high seas are now big reality-television hits. Apparently, those who did not go to
Yet part of America's confusion about what is important and petty begins at the top.
"Most people were like down in the Situation Room," Love said, "and [the president] was like, 'I'm not going to be down there, I can't watch this entire thing.' So he, myself,
The commander in chief was playing cards while Navy Seals risked their lives to kill America's No. 1 enemy -- only later to use photos of himself watching live feeds for his re-election sloganeering: "bin Laden is dead and
That pretense sums up the growing void between real and trivial America.
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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