Lawrence Wilkerson has a terrific op-ed piece in today's Baltimore Sun in which he argues that the neo-cons are transforming America into a radical republic.
We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.
That is in large part why our so-called revolution produced success while most throughout history did not. We came as much from the Magna Carta as from our own doings, as much from British common law and parliamentary development as from the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress.
Wilkerson puts some important historical context around the radicalism of the neo-cons.
As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.
And he's just warming up.
From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.
He's on a roll, and it's sweet.
Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.
Moreover, fiscal profligacy of an order never seen before has brought America trade deficits that boggle the mind and a federal deficit that, when stripped of the gimmickry used to make it appear more tolerable, will leave every child and grandchild in this nation a debt that will weigh upon their generations like a ball and chain around every neck. Imagine owing $150,000 from the cradle. That is radical irresponsibility.
After describing much of what the neo-cons are doing to turn the good America into a bad America, he discusses the possibility and necessity of stopping the slide.
We can turn back; moreover, we must if the world is to continue on a trajectory of more freedom and more prosperity for increasing numbers of people. Without American leadership - the good America - the world cannot progress.
If we are in some way the indispensable nation that a few Americans have said we are, then that is why. And it is no arrogance of power to say it; rather, it is to admit abiding reverence for the way the world works.
Such awesome responsibility generates not the swaggering ineptitude of which we have witnessed so much of late, but the abject humility that should flood us when we confront such unprecedented responsibility. I imagine the feeling to be something akin to what Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower felt moments before the invasion of Normandy began June 6, 1944.
All we need do, in reality, is return to our roots. Never in our almost 800-year history since the Magna Carta have we been radicals.
This is a terrific piece that helps contextualize what the neo-cons are doing. Read the whole thing.