Dr. Mabuse: How Can You Say Nothing Has Changed when Everything is Different?
Lawrence Auster last week posted a short entry on his blog about the Fourth of July, and I’ve been trying ever since then to properly verbalize why I feel, like him, that somehow nothing will ever be the same again. I’m not an American, but I’ve always felt like an honorary American, as if I could be unofficially adopted into that country through enthusiasm for her ideals and history. A little like the Biblical idea of being “grafted onto” the original tree - not one of the Chosen People, but allowed in because what’s inside is more important than the merely physical.
Since the betrayal of the USSC and particularly the despicable John Roberts, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that everything’s different now. I vaguely remember some long-ago debate here in Canada over changing and overturning traditions. The liberal, as usual, pooh-poohed his conservative opponent as some sort of unbalanced hysteric. This change - in divorce law, or abortion law, or mandatory French labelling, or whatever - wasn’t anything to be alarmed about! Why, we’ve been doing such-and-such for years anyway - nothing’s changed. The conservative finally replied, “How can you say that nothing’s changed when everything’s different?”
And that’s the truth of it: everything IS different, even though lots of people, including lots of conservatives, are insisting that this is just a little tactical manoeuvre to one side or another. I guess you could call them “Normalists”. No matter what happens, everything is still normal. On the Right, this has given rise to the cry to donate money to Mitt Romney. If June 28 is a normal act, then it can be countered by normal methods, and the typical normal method is to jog down the old, familiar road of elections. The usual pattern of behaviour is one side gets a point, then the other side gets a point, and it all works out.
Except in this case, I don’t think this is a normal situation. I think 6/28 marked an existential change in the nature of the United States. It’s like a person walking through a radioactive field, where most of the radiation passes harmlessly through his body, until finally one cell is struck and split, producing the undetectable change that will eventually completely alter the nature of the body and cause its death. Maybe “tipping point” is a better descriptor, that moment when things going over the edge can’t be pulled back. But I like the other because it better reflects my feeling that everything looks the same, only it’s entirely different.
My grief over this can’t be understood if you don’t know how fervently I’ve loved the United States.
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