By Chet Yarbrough
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It
By Mark Steyn
Narrated by Brian Emerson
Mark Steyn (Canadian conservative author and commentator. Occasional guest host on the Rush Limbaugh Show and Tucker Carlson Tonight.)
Listening to Brian Emerson’s narration of Steyn’s book makes one smile and cringe. In one section Steyn intelligently reflects on the demographics of world population, and in the next, he whips out a Limbaugh/Carlson-like’ riff on the name “Muhammad”.
Steyn uses “guilt by association” as proof of something when it is nothing. Someone named Muhammad can be an American patriot or a domestic terrorist; not because of a name but because of belief and volition.
To suggest ex-Senator Wiener’s wife, Huma Abedin, is a member or agent of the Muslim Brotherhood is ridiculous.
Abedin grew up in Saudi Arabia and worked for an academic journal called “The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs”. (Ms. Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Mich.) To state the obvious–meeting with someone or writing about minority affairs does not mean you changed religions or beliefs .
Steyn, like President Trump, incriminates the entire Muslim world by inferring there is a fascist conspiracy to take over the world.
On the one hand, Steyn reasonably notes the average age of many Muslim countries is 15 and youth is often a source of discontent and aberrant cultural behavior; on the other, he infers Muslims hold a monolithic belief system that is bent on converting or destroying the world “…as We Know It”.
Steyn flits from reason to nonsense at the turn of a page.
Those who have the privilege of living in America, or visiting other countries, recognize many of the ridiculous comments made by pundits. Conspiracies, and monolithic beliefs in other countries are more myth than truth.
As inferred by Ben Zimmer in his 11/7/20 article in the WSJ, “punditocracy” is a joke played on the public by the media. “Punditocracy” predicts little and enlightens few, if any. “Punditocracy” is a game to predict unknowable results that fit personal prejudices.
In a recent visit my wife and I made to India, a young Muslim woman explains her disgust with Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorist event. This young Muslim is appalled and embarrassed by the belief that bin Laden is considered a representative of her or her family’s religion.
In traveling to Egypt, a Muslim farmer is appalled by terrorists who use the cloak of religion to justify their murderous actions.
The many mosques visited in other countries reinforce history’s record of acceptance and tolerance of other faiths by Muslim leaders.
One appreciates an argument that is made by Steyn that socialist government policy has the potential for demotivating entrepreneurs and subsidizing economic freeloaders.
But, Steyn fails to criticize or comment on unregulated capitalism that increases the gap between rich and poor and presumes that “free enterprise” equates equal opportunity.
The world economy is in a state of transition like that which was experienced in the industrial revolution. Jobs are being lost because they are being replaced by technological advances.
Truly free enterprise does not exist in the world.
Today’s technocratic revolution is as tragic to an automobile assembler or coal miner in 21st century as it was to a loom operator in the 19th.
The United States, like other nations in the world, adopt unfair tax codes that subsidize big oil, big banks, and dying industries.
Who does the major bread winner in a family turn to when they lose their job because of changes beyond their control?
It is the job of private and public organizations to educate and train workers displaced by technological change. This re-education creates jobs while ameliorating unemployment.
Limbaugh rails against Trump by suggesting he is waffling on a political commitment to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Trump responds with an equal level of irrationality by closing vital functions of the government to force Congress to fund the wall.
Trump’s wall between Mexico and the U.S. is a joke. It does nothing to serve the truth of what immigrants have contributed to America.
Steyn is obviously well read and informed but one feels like he plays the publicity game of talking heads. Some (not all) Fox newscasters, CNN contributors, and other pundits are darlings of an ideological group that get paid for what their constituency wants to hear. It has little to do with truth.
Steyn, like many talking heads (liberal and conservative), wastes his intelligence; pandering to an ideological constituency, rather than serving the general public by searching for the truth.
Demography and economic conditions change. They are a part of the human condition that can be managed by recognizing human nature’s fundamentals, and conscientiously creating nations that are governed by rule-of-law. There is a truth but it lies in freedom and social responsibility.