In One Eye

Sunday, June 08, 2003
This morning, Friedman talks about responses he's received regarding last Sunday's column,
Two themes stood out: One is how much people are now interested in foreign policy, in the wake of 9/11 and Iraq. Grandmothers and students, tourists and immigrants — everyone is now feeling touched by the world, or by America, and everyone wants to be heard. The other is that many, many people are worried about how alienated America is becoming from the world. Many blame the Bush team, others blame the world, but there is a powerful sense that something important is being lost.
I certainly feel that something is being lost--like the whole notion of what the US is supposed to be and stand for.

In foreign policy, there was a time when the US would not be a provocateur, when it wouldn't alienate its international allies simply because they happened to disagree with its policies.

At home, there was a time when the country could be counted on to protect all its citizens, not just those who happened to contibute to its political parties; when it made sure that a living wage could be obtained; when the Fourth Amendment meant something.

Those days are currently gone. It remains to be seen whether they can be recovered.

Finally saw The Matrix (the first one) last night. It seems to be representative of the current national malaise. That is, given the lack of rationality in the current state of affairs, perhaps it's comforting to think that all of this has been devised by some malevolent artificial intelligence.