One of the many incoherent elements of the modern American right is its simultaneous insistence that America is the greatest, strongest, best country that exists or ever has existed in history, but that it’s constantly in danger of total collapse if it gets hit by anything metaphorically stronger than a moderate breeze. Here’s Cliff Kincaid, of “Accuracy” in Media, on Caitlyn Jenner’s transition:
The “courage” we really need is that which stands up to this decline and affirms the traditional relationships based on America’s founding values. But it appears it is just too much to ask for this kind of courage from the media.
America’s families will pay the price. The nation may not survive, as it becomes a laughingstock before self-destructing or becoming easy pickings for a determined foreign adversary.
Yes, that’s right, God’s chosen City on the Hill, the shining beacon to all mankind, the freest, toughest, most powerful nation ever, is going to be laid low by one transgender person’s transition. This doesn’t seem just a little incongruous to anybody?
Back in February, Pat Robertson wondered if America would “survive” Barack Obama’s last two years in office. I don’t want to question Pat’s grip on reality, but it seems like Obama is really putting this off until the last second, you know?
Of course, if you’re looking for dire predictions about America’s total destruction, in this case thanks to dangerous foreign dangers, you have to turn to the neocons, whose political livelihoods depend on terrifying as many voters as they possibly can. Lindsey Graham is legendary here, and his presidential campaign is just getting warmed up. Marco Rubio is definitely playing on Graham’s turf here, though, and it’s going to be a real dogfight over which of them can scare us the most. These days it’s usually ISIS that is somehow going to come swarming into America and kill us all, or else Iran is going to nuke is for some reason, but Russia is always a popular existential threat as well, and I’m sure China would be at the top of the neocon threat list if there weren’t so many Middle Eastern threats to exploit. The thing about that is, well, America spends a staggering amount of money on national defense relative to the rest of the world (it’s considered a “milestone” when the next 10 biggest defense spenders combined are outspending America alone, and that by a measly $7 billion), our one active current military engagement is in defense of American interests in the Middle East, not America itself, and this country hasn’t suffered a major terrorist attack since 9/11, unless you count Boston (which only killed three people but injured a couple hundred) — and as terrible as Boston was, I think we can all agree that America isn’t teetering on the edge of collapse because of it.
So here’s what I don’t understand: if America can be brought low by a famous person transitioning genders, or if America can’t protect itself despite far outspending every other country on the planet on national defense, how can we also claim that America is mighty and great and powerful? Me, I don’t think we’re perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t have such a low opinion of my country as to think that Caitlyn Jenner is enough to bring it to ruin, and I don’t have such a low opinion of our security capabilities to think that we’re not plenty more than a match for anybody who wants to seriously threaten us. That kind of pessimism must be unique to the right.