It’s pretty typical for op-eds, editorials, and blog posts to be lackluster during the month of August. People go off on vacation (or haven’t returned to school yet as the case may be) and output and quality drops. Like the economy the quality of opinion writing seems to be going sideways. The typical August doldrums have extended into September.
Partisans of both major parties are convinced that their candidate will win decisively. At least one of those grouips must be wrong, seriously wrong. I think they’re both wrong. Most of what I’m seeing in the blogosphere these days is at the intellectual level of “Oh, yeah?”. My eyes glaze over when I read things that blame all of our problems on Republicans or “the Left”.
Blog posts are inspired by newspaper articles, editorials, op-eds, and other blog posts. With such lousy material to work with it’s hard to get inspired.
Maybe I’m just going through seasonal adjustment.
Lately there are a number of ideas I’ve had for posts I just haven’t been able to get fired up about. For example, I started working on a lengthy historical and policy defense of public education. Regardless of how necessary it may be it’s difficult to get worked up enough to spring to the defense of something that’s so bad.
I also thought about posting on religious tolerance. What it is and what it isn’t. What Richard Dawkins and the guy who produced the movie trailer that’s causing so much furor around the world do may be offensive to adherents but it’s not intolerant. However, religion (like race) is a topic that I find signally unrewarding to write about. There’s just no upside. Whatever you write it won’t result in greater understanding for anybody.
As should be apparent to anybody who hasn’t covered his eyes with a blindfold and plugged his ears with his fingers, singing “La, la, la”, the economy is going sideways. No measure proposed by either President Obama or Gov. Romney is very likely to change that.
The world situation is just awful. Europe is just desperate to maintain the present order of things but it’s the present order that has to go. Blaming the debtors is fashionable but the lenders are at least equally at fault for the present state of affairs and they have benefited mightily by the present arrangement. That’s why they’re so reluctant to see it go. Sideways is now their best case scenario.
The tensions between China and Japan are really worrying and show some signs of spilling over into a a general Boxer-style anti-foreign fervor. The U. S. ambassador was attacked driving into the U. S. embassy. Some of the protesters were chanting “Return the money!” which demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding of the relationship between China and the U. S. Things are not going sideways in China. They’re deteriorating.
The mutual saber-rattling between Israel and Iran continues unabated. Sideways moves us ever closer to war.
We should have left Afghanistan (at least) two years ago. Our departure now or, heavens forfend, in two years will bring back memories of our departure from Saigon nearly 40 years ago. The Obama Administration does not seem to have recognized yet that the president’s dream of a successful conclusion there through applying more force was an illusion.