Now and forever known as the “worst disaster” in Dick Cheney’s lifetime (his words), in any other time (or with a Republican in the White House) it would have been just a normal, if tragic, cost of doing business. The United States believes in an international presence, a presence that asks us to routinely deploy good people in dangerous places. Dozens (yes conservative friends, dozens) of diplomatic targets have been attacked by various forces regardless of the party affiliation of the White House during the last three decades. Many of these diplomatic targets were CIA fronts which demanded both secrecy and deniability. So where again is the scandal?
At some point in the last year I realized that age had caught up with me in most superficially hurtful way; I left the key demographic. What I value, like, want, and need is no longer relevant to mass marketers. All of the music I like is relegated to classical and oldies stations. A solid majority of the people I interact with on a daily basis aren’t completely sure what I mean when I say “roll up the window.” A frighteningly large minority of the people I interact with believe that “dial up” is charming relic of my advancing years.
On the surface, the notion of ideological purity carries a certain cache; it is, “those people” would say, the reason that conservatives have so successfully pushed the political standards of we the people so far to the right (whether the actual standards have followed suit is a matter of debate.) But what of reality?
Can America survive a brave new culture led by shows like Amish Mafia and The Real Housewives of Wherever? Is reality truly as unreal as reality TV purports to show? Is our nation’s culture now defined by the lowest common denominator?