Burt Prelutsky

Back in the 1950s, a southern journalist named Harry Golden became famous by turning out a series of best-selling books, the first of which he called “Only in America.” The title was a reference to a popular expression that reflected the feeling of most of his countrymen that America was special, a unique place that offered millions of people unlimited freedom to express themselves and to achieve dreams that were unimaginable anywhere else on earth.

In the half century since Mr. Golden wrote his book, things have undergone a sea change in this country. Partly the change has come about because of Viet Nam and Watergate. But mainly because the Baby Boomers, surely the most selfish and infantile generation in our history, have achieved positions of power and influence; partly because the Fourth Estate came to be infested with Fifth Columnists, reporters and commentators who believe they are fulfilling their destinies only when they are tearing down the country, its traditional values and symbols; partly because Communism, which should have been left to die and be buried in the Soviet Union, took root and flourished on America’s college campuses; and partly because Jimmy Carter, a sanctimonious phony who never met a despot he didn’t adore, and Bill Clinton, an amoral opportunist who somehow went from being a punk in England bad-mouthing America during a time of war, to being a military-hating commander-in-chief, were elected to the highest office in the land.

The end result of all this is that we have wound up with a society, not of useful idiots, but of useless ones. We have so badly confused ourselves that the people who most despise America regard themselves as our greatest patriots. They call America an imperialistic power even though we haven’t claimed an acre of foreign turf in my lifetime. They insist that we only go to war over oil, although we have made no move to confiscate the oil fields in Kuwait or Iraq. While condemning anything and everything that George W. Bush has done in the past six years, accusing him of trampling on our civil rights without being able to point to a single one, and equating him with Hitler, they sing the praises of such dictators as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

The one thing all of these blithering fatheads can agree about is that war must be avoided at all costs. In order to promote this cockeyed notion, they even pretend to be concerned about the safety of America’s warriors, even though we know only too well that they despise America’s military.