Monday, July 28, 2008

U.S. Suffers from "The China Syndrome"

Try as I might I can’t place the entire blame for the Decline and Fall of the United States on the doorstep of one George W. Bush. Even when you add in his backup band, Cheney & The Henchmen, it just won’t fly. Oh sure, they deserve not only the lion’s share of the blame, but the Giraffe Chow, Bamboo Shoots for the Pandas and that carload of peanuts earmarked for Dumbo.

And credit where it’s due--no Presidency has given the collapse of this Republic the rocket-assisted kick in the Booty Bush’s has. Dude turned the Constitution, the Environment, the Iraq (such as), and the Economy into his personal Beeyotch. When Edgar Mitchell’s Extraterrestrials return to dig through the remains of American Civilization, forensic evidence will lead right to ol’ #43. (The latest? Bush’s Welcome Wagon gift to the next POTUS, a $490 Billion Fiscal 2009 Budget Deficit.)

Not absolving the Idiot-in-Chief, but there's only so much just one man can do. Credit must be shared.

History: Face it, countries always decline and fall. Ask any Greek or Roman. A Bell Curve denotes how this works. First, it rises. Then everyone gets fat, dumb, and happy. Soon they grow overly complacent, greedy, shifty, horny, dopey, sleepy and sneezy. Next a bunch of other stuff happens. Eventually, Society collapses and the process starts over again. You want details, Google your ass off. I’m just setting up my premise here.

Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll: Rampant drugs and the sexual revolution chipped away at Values. Priests seduced Altar Boys; dogs and cats slept together, porn became ubiquitous. Rock & Roll wasn’t so bad at first, but it went south as soon as Boys2Men cut an album.

Reagan: A great big round of applause for Reaganism. It really got the ball rolling by decimating the Middle Class.

Clinton: NAFTA was Bill Clinton’s baby.

Egomania: Put your hands together for those Decline and Fall Accelerants like Ralph Nader, whose Megalomania made it possible for Bush to steal Florida. The Media traded in its journalistic chops for wealth and invites into Power Brokers Homes. Artists sold their Souls for a piece of the pie.

The Loyal Opposition: Don’t forget the ongoing inability of the Democratic Party to stop bickering long enough to select a candidate who could actually win a General Election.

There are more, but these are your primary known knowns about what went wrong with America. Feel free to add your own unknown knowns, known knowns you never knew about, and those unknown knowns no one knows. ("Madge! Get me Rummy!”)

We now formally conclude the premise-setup portion of this column. Summing up: Country is going to Hell in a Handbasket, blah blah blah. Watch carefully as this leads to my clever Catchphrase for the mess we’re in.

It hit me Sunday while watching a CBS Sunday Morning piece about how everyone and his Uncle Bob is riding a bike in America these days. People ride them to work, to the store, to Grandma’s house. Bike business is booming. Why are Americans giving up their cars and riding bikes? Because they can’t afford gasoline. Why is gasoline so expensive? Because in China, everyone and his Uncle Wong is trading their bikes for cars. It’s the old Hitchcockian “Criss-cross.”

So here’s Cork’s Decline and Fall Catchphrase. “We’ve become China!”