Jewish World Review May 13, 2010 / 29 Iyar 5770
The Great Devaluation
By Paul Greenberg
There'll always be an
Maybe it was his day job as a prison doctor that gave Dr. Daniels so sour a perspective. Let's hope his is a skewed vision. Because in this Age of Obama, Americans are being told to adopt policies that seem strikingly similar to the just rejected
If that's going to be the shape of our progressive, Social Democratic, oh-so-advanced future, let's get off this roundabout now and head straight back to the past.
Skimming a choice selection of headlines from the Daily Mail's website is not exactly a cheery way to start the day:
"A-level student, 17, stabbed to death at home in front of parents 'was victim of mistaken identity' "
"Soap actress left blind in one eye after being attacked with wine glass in bar row"
"50,000 British women warned their breast implants could explode"
"Council to ban the word 'obesity' -- so fat children don't get offended"
"Teenager who blinded man with her stiletto heel in drunken brawl is jailed for 18 months"
"Man suffocates to death after falling into clothes recycling bin"
"Nurse who told heart patient to mop up his own urine is free to continue working"
"Woman, 86, threatened by M&S security staff for eating biscuit in wrong part of the store"
And so depressingly on. Britannia, where have you gone?
You may suspect, as, as I did, that the game is fixed, that these news items can't be representative of British society. Or there wouldn't be much of a society left. Surely the quotes were selected for their scare value. In order to paint the dreariest picture possible of what has happened to the mother country. (Remember when Americans were allowed to refer to
Unfortunately, Mr. Steyn has some statistics to back up the impression left by the headlines he chose. He notes that that the UK now has "the highest drug use in
If the news from
A country can rebound from economic difficulties and even political demoralization -- see the New Deal, or the Reagan Years -- but how restore the social fabric, the very culture of a country, once it's been allowed to deteriorate? The collapse of educational standards may be only the most pervasive and influential symptom of what ails us.
How turn it all around? It can be done, but not easily. And the longer the challenge is ignored, the greater it grows. Until a tipping point is reached, and then it may be too late. Which is what's so worrisome about
It is such visions of the American future that may explain the rise of the latest political phenomenon on this side of the pond--the
No, the Tea Partiers may not know what to do about the problem, but at least they know we've got one. And they're not going to be all nice and quiet about it.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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