The rulers of America are real optimists. They think they can continue to enjoy a First World economy and military with a Third World population.
The polls show that 33 per cent of the public still gives Dubya Bush a favourable approval rating. Who could these people be? Some of them, no doubt, are well-meaning dupes in the early stages of Alzheimers. But there is a hard core of latent fascism out there. Though they deviously misuse the idea to slander opposition, leftists are not entirely wrong to point out the dangers of authoritarian super-patriotism. Every country has them: people who believe that “My country right or wrong” is equivalent to “The Leader right or wrong”; who regard questioning the government as treason worthy of the direst punishment. Sometimes the type reaches a critical mass in society, as in Germany in the 1930s.
I have learned this from email hate letters, usually anonymous. Like anyone idiotic enough to broadcast his fulminations on the web and elsewhere, I am accustomed to such. Interestingly, I have received very little hate mail from leftists, a great deal from super-patriots. It seems to be the same people who object to my criticising Dubya Bush and to my saying anything favourable about Southern traditions.
I recently had the misfortune to get on a wire service report of an occasion in which I dared to speak ill of the ongoing campaign to suppress the Confederate flag.