That's what they call a lethal GI infection in Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. Evasive and maybe charming, until the victim dies, not long after. That's when it hits you - people you come to like wiped out, people you don't much care for surviving and thriving; so like Life! Powell takes 40-50 years to chronicle his society, its survivors and its corruptions, aesthetic and political. I am thinking we are at the point of vomiting up some bad tuck from the last 25 years, right now.
Take New Orleans, fallen off the radar now by offical pronouncement. My friend Susan is back there again (see pic above), part of an animal rescue mission. This is not sentimentality; men and women overcome by the hurricane and floods have died, but their pets may have survived, or at best been separated from their families who escaped and survived elsewhere. Regardless of the state of these animals prior to this disaster - well or ill-cared for - it strikes me that there is a conservative expectation that their owners and masters will - and should - go feral long before their dogs and cats will. That is, every man for himself, and God will sort it out, if He does not cut you down first, and if that happens you will have deserved it, just as your lost city did.
That's a Declaration of Anarchy - Free Market, of course - and if you think you are safe from that policy in Missouri (New Madrid fault), Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles (major earthquake or volcanic zones, all) - well, you're dreamers under this government. Talk to Oklahoma City about homegrown bombers - not al-Qaeda, but our own native nutcases who hate the gummint, the captains of industry and business (Jews, or, now, possibly Arabs - certainly George Soros), the hordes of Beaners on our southern border (without whom Lou Dobbs would not be able to enjoy his salad), or the stealthy Canucks up North - look just like us, talk just like us, but they are NOT us....fuck, we've got enemies on all fucking sides! Greatest country in the world, in History, and we are hoping attitude will save us.
Is it so hard to recall where we were 5 years ago? Federal budget surplus, anyone? Dodged some Y2K terrorist attacks, anyone? Panels warning more, but, what the fuck, they were Wets, at best (to borrow a Thatcherite term); tax cuts and deficits are now "our due" in The Cheney's immortal words. Fuck fiscal responsibility. The apparatus of government is being - and should be - eviscerated - what are you talking about "Common Good" for, you godless, un-Christian, income-redistributive traitor! C'mon, Atlas, Shrug!
I have a buddy who married a very bright and attractive woman. She had a lot of issues - passionately hated her family, self-esteem problems in spite of high achievement - but the thing that bugged me the most about her (as I met her at the same time as my buddy) was her romance with Ayn Rand. I couldn't figure out why she didn't see through that simple didactic gimme agenda, but I guess she did, at the end, because after my buddy built her up for 7 years, she left him. He'd made her strong enough to do what she had wanted to do all along. Nothng like empowerment, I guess, but beware of the therapeutic relationship.
There's a sense in which the Dem leadership - and far too many consultants, and journalists, and ordinary independent voters for that matter - still talk about the radical (e.g., dominant) wing of the Repubs as if they were people to be reasoned with. They are not. Like my buddy, they will marry you and suck you dry and leave you. Selfishness is a Virtue, and you are a Loser, my friend.
Winners, after all, don't have friends - only clients, only suckers.