Victor Davis Hanson nails it, as usual: “Historians will look back at 2008 as a time when the country became more or less collectively unhinged.”
The question, going forward, is whether this tendency toward mass self-delusion has been reversed (or is even, any longer, reversible). Color me prayerful, but skeptical. Why skeptical? Let me count the ways:
1) The Romney boomlet. How many times do establishment presidential candidates have to lose before it becomes apparent that that’s the only thing they’re especially good at?
2) The dubious gaggle of alternative GOP contenders, many of whom began the last election cycle as putative tea party hopefuls, but eventually revealed themselves to be delicate and insubstantial soufflés, collapsing into establishment goo before the onslaught of noise from the big government/amnesty/business-as-usual wing of the Republican party.
3) Hillary Clinton’s continuing popularity. She’s not inevitable, even as her party’s nominee, let alone as the next president; however, in what mature, sober environment would someone so utterly lacking in genuine accomplishments, and so heavily freighted with the baggage of corruption and ineptitude, have any real chance at all?
4) The rapidly growing segment of the population that is not only resigned, but apparently eager, to undergo the transmogrification from a free people into a lowing herd of government-fed, domesticated ruminants.
5) The mainstream media’s permanent role as a progressive bullhorn, in which it excels as a purveyor and validator of left-wing fantasy, peddling ideological salt licks to the bovine (see #4).
So, as I say, I remain prayerful rather than hopeful.