“At Decade’s End” is a mighty reflective commentary by an old friend, Troy Senik, a Contributing Editor to the Center for Individual Freedom. In a decade that many have hastened to tag, “the worst” ever, Senik paints a compelling picture of how ‘Aughts’ self-actualization fantasies have in many ways stunted our society’s growth:
“The curse of the aughts was that Americans brought Fukuyama’s hopes to Tennyson’s world – they acknowledged hardship while feeling entitled to be insulated from it. The callow youths of the go-go nineties were transformed into the petulant teenagers of a new millennium.
As a result, terrorism was a threat to be met head on – but only until military casualties mounted too high or European salons grew too obstreperous in their opposition to Guantanamo Bay. The financial crisis was a sobering reminder of the dangers of profligate borrowing and spending – but the federal government needed to lean on lenders to keep the funds from drying up. At all levels of government, the popular cry was to keep taxes low – but not to so much as tap the brakes on government spending.
In many corners, but especially among those who fear American decline, this has been decried as a ‘lack of will.’ It is no such thing. If anything, it is will unbridled – all id and no ego. It is a suspension of reality. But like all suspensions, it must eventually resolve. America can choose to be self-indulgent to the point of impotence. Alternately, it can opt for the hallmark of maturity – delaying self-gratification in the pursuit of a higher good. It cannot do both.”
The piece is elevated and sober. Highly recommended if you’re looking for context over immediacy this morning.
Parting thought: I couldn’t help but smile at Senik’s subtle jab at pundits who’ve bid “good riddance” to this “worst decade ever.” Though, I hope he’s happy to indulge some of our flippant irreverence at the turn of a new decade. We’re just entering our ‘Teens,’ right?