book review

After America:
Get Ready For Armageddon
Mark Steyn
Regnery, 2011, 424 pages
Reviewed By

W e're the ones we've been waiting for!" was the catchphrase of the 2008 election, when America voted for its first feel-good President. Not exactly "A house divided against itself cannot stand," but not too much worse than "Ah feel yer pain!" which we heard over and over again for eight horrible years. But for a nation more divided than ever, electing a guy whose only qualification is that, whoever he is, he's who we-all have been settin' around a-waitin' fer describes the narcissistic New America perfectly. Only now, we're the ones feelin' pain. As Mark Steyn says, they voted for Obama not because they agreed with whatever it was he stood for, but so they could feel good about themselves. That, says Mark Steyn, "is what 'celebrating diversity' boils down to." And it symbolizes the mindless conformity and the willing surrender of our can-do spirit that, according to Mark Steyn, will mean the death of America if the one thing we can't do is pull ourselves out of it.

Some Europeans and liberals are probably thinking, "okay, America is going down the drain, they're becoming a giant parasitical welfare state like us, headed on an express lane to annihilation ... so ... what's the downside?" Well, Americans stopped writing books about the decline of Europe a few years ago, when Europe's eventual decline into chaos became all but inevitable. No point warning Europeans about a future that's already there, when their cities are wracked with riots and their economies are tottering on the edge of collapse. They kinda know it now. But America is only a half-step behind. And the decline and fall of Europe will be more like a museum door closing compared to what's likely to happen after the decline and fall of America. America has become like Wile Coyote after he ran off the cliff but before he noticed that, for some odd reason, he's not getting any traction anymore.

"America is now a land that rewards failure," says Steyn. The people assume that simply because America is a superpower there won't be any consequences: we can just tax the "rich" and things will work out. But America won't be a superpower much longer: even the rich aren't made of money, at least not in the quantities the government burns through, and as your nanny told you, but the Nanny State seems to have forgotten, it doesn't grow on trees, either.

Okay then, we'll print some more. Better yet, add a couple extra zeroes onto every dollar bill and we'll all be a hundred times richer.

Leftists may not care--they already hate America as the embodiment of capitalism and freedom. The problem is, Après America, le déluge. Biology is smarter than most people realize: could it be that Americans are unconsciously fattening themselves up because deep down, they know what's in store?

In fact, the "armageddon" that Mark "Cassandra" Steyn is prophesying sounds pretty tame. Sure, we all know the multiculturalists, the parasite lawyers, the illiterate CEOs, and the greedy, inept politicians will split America into multiple countries, then flee to South America to escape the wrath of their impoverished former constituents. Long before the Washington Monument goes up on eBay and Fort Knox is turned into luxury gated condos, it will be the end of Western civilization. The economies of those countries which depend on exports to the USA will also have collapsed. America is the world's leading food exporter. Europeans may sneer, but it's also the guarantor of peace, more or less. By the time the rest of America looks like Detroit, we'll have a hungry world with no global cops and a bunch of mysterious new holes in it. Think Great Depression but with nukes, military aggression, and millions of starving people, some of them very angry indeed.

We are a house divided. We can't have both Big Government and freedom at the same time. As Lincoln said, about a related matter, it will become all one thing or all the other.