When we believe that America and Americans are unique and uniquely good in all of history, we will also believe that there is no problem we cannot overcome. Our political leaders tell us this fable time and again; many Americans are eager to believe it, in the manner of a damaged child who appeals to mysterious powers to vanquish the dangers lurking in the shadows of his room. We witness this mechanism in connection with a wide range of problems, even when those problems reach the catastrophic level. Here is Obama on the continuing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico:
President Barack Obama struck an optimistic tone over the ongoing oil disaster Monday afternoon, saying that "things are going to return to normal" on the stricken Gulf Coast after much pain and frustration, and that the polluted waters will eventually be in better shape than before the leak began.These are reassurances offered by parents to children whom they treat as doltish objects fit only to be manipulated. The parent or other authority figure -- here, Obama -- does not expect his words to be credited after a process of independent evaluation. He expects, in fact he demands, that you take his word for it, that you believe him without question or challenge. He demands that you obey. This is the way our political leaders treat their subjects both abroad and at home. (In addition to rejecting this method of forcible "persuasion," I also reject such reassurances for further, more specific and compelling reasons, as do many others. I recognize that we are provided only such information about the Gulf catastrophe as the government and BP, which are one and the same in this context, wish us to have. We have close to no idea what is actually going on, or the damage that has already been inflicted and that may manifest itself in the future. Moreover, I recognize the dangerous folly of entrusting any kind of solution to a crisis of this kind, or to the crisis of climate change however one may conceive it, to an inherently, fatally corrupted corporatist State.)...
Arthur Silber @'Once Upon A Time'