Then [in 1967], as now, Americans were in a negative mood, but had much more to be depressed about. We were then mired in a war that produced more than 20 times the number of American deaths as the conflict in Iraq has so far. We were in the midst of the Cold War, with its ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation, and the bipartisan Cold War consensus was about to break down. Our cities were ablaze in race riots, and our economy was about to enter an era of stagflation -- low growth and high inflation.
Now, most things are demonstrably better. As I noted last summer, levels of warfare around the world have reached a historic low, so that even the loss of one American life in Iraq can land on the front page. The world economy is growing as never before, with millions of people rising out of poverty every year. The American economy continues to surge ahead.
So why are people so cranky? He offers some thoughts, which mesh interestingly with Josh Manchester's, below.
Really, America, why can't you just get over your PMS and be happy?
Maybe Americans are "cranky" Putz, because they were told we were going to invade Iraq to disarm Saddam so that he couldn't give his WMD to terrorists, and then they found out there were no WMD and there were no ties to terrorists.Maybe Americans are cranky because the criminal who attacked us on 9/11 is still at large, and the people who harbored him are still running around in Afghanistan.
Maybe Americans are cranky because this month alone, another 80 of their sons and daughters came home in flag-draped coffins, for a mission that even Republican Senators are publicly questioning, and for a mission that President Bush said was over 3 years ago.
Maybe Americans are cranky because the countries that President Bush compared to Nazi Germany and Fascist Japan are now more dangerous, more powerful and more nuclear than they were 4 years ago.
Maybe Americans are cranky because, despite how well the economy is going for the people who own more than one house, wages are flat, while housing costs have gone up.
Maybe Americans are cranky because they watched in horror as an American city drowned while their feckless, incompetent government patted itself on the back for doin' a heckuva job.
Maybe Americans are cranky because members of the party that's running Congress keep getting arrested, going to jail, investigated by the FBI and the SEC, and resigning in disgrace for corruption or hitting on underage pages.
Maybe Americans are cranky because they can't afford health care.
Sorry America doesn't like your party's policies and governance, Putz, but it's not because they're hard-to-please malcontents.