As with so many other aspects of our time, we seem destined to suffer the most trite and underwhelming imitations of things that once were great or at least impressive. Exhibit A would be the great war advocate, George W. Bush. Can there be a more perfect synthesis of the last 20 years of disappointing American politics than this man? He exemplifies everything—unaware, unashamed, unapologetic—that the American ruling class has become. NeverTrumpers and neocons yearn for a return to the days of measured, steady Bush leadership. We are told constantly now that he is kind, polite, well-bred: a politician from a more dignified tradition of public servants than those of late. But of course, in reality he is none of these things.
The everlasting incompetence and mesmerizing self-delusion on display at his recent 9/11 remarks make that clear.
What kind of a person stands on the very spot where heroic, valiant Americans perished in a tragic last-ditch effort to save a symbol of their ruling class—either the Capitol or the White House, no one knows for certain—and dares to offer criticism of the American people? What kind of cretin could possibly stir himself to lecture the public while standing on the very spot where common, average, everyday people sacrificed themselves to save members of the elite?