As a long-time columnist, nothing makes me happier than having a bunch of idiots in government.
That’s because we opinion journalists are like duck hunters, specifically hunters of dumb ducks — an important nuance because there are very clever ducks that are of no interest to those who shoot with ink and paper.
What opinion journalists desire is having the worst government in the world, simply to write every day about how unfortunate it is that we have the worst government in the world. Broadly speaking, this is our job.
I never did quite agree with Spengler’s thesis in “The Decline of the West,” that enormous book from the early 20th century that warned us that our civilization was already in its final stage. While it is true that civilizations hit rock bottom, I relate better to Arnold J. Toynbee, who agrees with Spengler in diagnosing the collapse but does not believe that we are going to disappear like cockroaches.
As easy as it is for sociologists to divide society into categories, the truth is that society is still made up of individuals. No civilization is an independent and plural living being, as Spengler claims when considering that it can die of old age like a sick animal.
That gives us the comfort of knowing that even though the West may be dying, we can continue to complain about its decline without fear of disappearing in the middle of a column.
Undoubtedly, the West experienced a crisis in the 18th century and has survived ever since, but in the same way we might say that Joe Biden is surviving.
Toynbee knew well that every civilization, instead of dying, agonizes in its fruits. And this is also sensational for columnists because with a bit of luck we could spend our lives saying that everything is going wrong and that everything that goes wrong need not end.
As I implied before, the columnist’s real fear is that one morning he gets up only to discover that the government has done everything right. Honestly, I don’t think that danger exists with Kamala Harris in office.
Despite the fact that no one likes to see their noble conservative ideas move to the opposition, it’s worth noting that the era that is upon us is fascinating: Biden has assembled a government so mediocre that Spengler could dedicate his two thick volumes exclusively to Western civilization’s decadence — but as a prologue.
It’s not pretty to admit it, but opposition is more fun and profitable than ruling.
Perhaps that is why, given the sudden anti-Trumpism of certain conservative media in the days following the election, it was speculated that it could only be a business calculation, seeking to save an income statement that the pandemic ruined. They will certainly live better opposing Biden.
Whether the hypothesis is true or not, more newspapers are sold when you can headline “The Government Is Full of Idiots” than if you are forced to say that “The Government Is Full of Incredibly Bright Minds,” unless you are implying that most of the top officials are completely bald.
Besides, I have always felt more comfortable in conservative discourse, perhaps because while we speak of “decadence” or “degeneration,” progressives spend their days writing things like “sustainable” or “resilience,” which mean as much in political language as “vanilla” or “tribute.”
There are those who will consider it frivolous to celebrate that, since Biden is in the administration and that seems inevitable, at least we are going to have a great time looking for the differences between Kamala Harris and Mark Levin, making satirical poems about their vaccination plan, and looking for Bernie Sanders cryogenized in the secret closets of the White House as the alleged author of the idea of raising the minimum wage, which is the typical socialist embrace of workers that ends in death by suffocation.
Although I share with many intellectuals the apocalyptic vision regarding the terrible state of things, often, in the day-to-day, I feel closer to the hilarious conservatism of my countryman the Count of Foxá, who used to disarm his critics with this brilliant assessment about himself: “I’m a count, I’m fat, I smoke cigars, how am I not going to be a right-winger?”
This article first appeared on The Western Journal en Español.
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