It’s been twenty years, but I’ve finally taken to heart all the criticisms of my political pessimism. It clearly does no good to be a “downer,” or “too negative” anyway. So, as the keystone to this year’s New Year’s resolutions, I’m presenting a more optimistic face to the world.
After all, there can surely never be another dictator like Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, or Adolf Hitler to spoil our natural state of freedom. How could humanity ever again produce somebody like Pol Pot, Tojo, Jorge Videla, Francisco Franco, Leopold II or Augusto Pinochet? The various Robert Mugabe, Somoza, Noriega, Ceaucescu, Mubarak, Batista, al-Bashir, Chavez, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il types are just a rare aberrance from the human norm of wise and benevolent rulers like…
Well, that’s not important now.
Sure, there may have been a time when sick and brutal tyrants like Nero, Vlad III, Herod, Caligula and Genghis Khan were more the rule than the exception. But certainly, now, people like Ho Chi Minh, Slobodan Milosevic, Kagame, Duvalier, Erdoğan, Calderón, and Khomeini are so rare that it’s understandable and probably even reasonable that most of us are lackadaisical about politics, and trust that our ruling class is properly taking care of our needs. The hundreds of millions killed in the past century were just a statistical anomaly, you know. Really, what are the odds that we will get another Chiang Kai-Shek, Enver Pasha, Hirohito, Abdul Hamid II or Yahya Khan to order such inhuman terror?
While it may seem that our government is so much more secretive, deceptive, powerful and invasive than in those simpler, gentler days of America’s peaceful and humanitarian past (setting aside, of course, transient errors like slavery, Jim Crow, experiments on soldiers and prisoners, and the genocide of millions of Native Americans), I’m sure there is no cause for concern here in the Land of The Free, where we choose our own rulers in fair and open elections!
So, no more finger-pointing warnings from me anymore. No sir. My message for the New Year is, just relax! Your nation is competently, rationally, impartially and sustainably operated by people who care about you as an individual of dignity, in liberty and justice.
Just as I’ve learned my lessons about overly grave sobriety, humanity has learned its lessons about corruption and violence. Humankind’s awful, classist, thieving and brutish history is behind us now. All that’s left for modern Americans to do is spend our money, pay our taxes, and enjoy the peace, prosperity, justice and equality under law we all so richly deserve.
Yes, indeed, it is time we finally get what we deserve. Happy New Year!