This column by Bob Herbert for the New York Times says everything I’ve been trying to get across about the evils of fundamentalism, demagoguery and conservative denial:
The wackiness is increasing, not diminishing, and it has a great potential for destruction. There is a real need for people who know better to speak out in a concerted effort to curb the appeal of the apostles of the absurd.
But there is another type of disturbing behavior, coming from our political leaders and the public at large, that is also symptomatic of a society at loose ends. We seem unable to face up to many of the hard truths confronting the U.S. as we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
The Obama administration’s biggest domestic priority is health care reform. But the biggest issue confronting ordinary Americans right now — the biggest by far — is the devastatingly weak employment environment. Politicians talk about it, but aggressive job-creation efforts are not part of the policy mix.
We’ve also been unable or unwilling to face the hard truths about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the terrible toll they are taking on our young fighting men and women. Most of us don’t want to know. Moreover, we’ve put the costs of these wars on a credit card, without so much as a second thought about what that does to our long-term budget deficits or how it undermines much-needed initiatives here at home.
Definitely a must-read.