theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bill O'Reilly: No Restraints

We live in a vicious world. It took about one hour before the Russians started gloating about the Washington Navy Yard massacre. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of a foreign affairs committee in the Russian parliament, tweeted: "A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington -- a lone gunman. ... Nobody's even surprised anymore. A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism."
The last paragraph of Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed from last week claimed there is no such thing as "American exceptionalism."
Russia remains a bad country, full of internal corruption and, in its foreign policy, supportive of the worst elements on Earth. Folks like the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and the murderous mullahs in Iran can expect the full cooperation of Russia along with all the arms they can buy.
Outrageous? You bet. But the sad truth is that the United States has largely lost the moral authority to call Russia out, and the world knows it.
Much of America's problem lies within. We are living in a narcissistic age in which millions of folks have withdrawn from life as we used to know it and have fabricated a false world for themselves on the Internet. Instead of experiencing life in its many natural forms, folks are now rejecting face-to-face social interaction, preferring to spend their time on machines.
According to his friends, the Navy Yard killer, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, spent almost every night playing violent video games, isolating himself from reality. Then he apparently snapped. It will happen again.
With its emphasis on abundance, the United States has become a target of intense jealousy from all over the world. Even poor Americans have conveniences many people overseas will never have. A recent study by the Census Bureau says the poorest Americans have color TVs, air conditioners, computers, cellphones -- almost every modern convenience. Poverty is a serious situation, and I don't mean to belittle it, but here in the USA, the poor are better off than in most other places on the planet, proving that democracy and capitalism do work.
But you'll never convince the anti-American people of that. And they will seize any excuse to diminish this country. We the people are giving our foes tons of ammunition, so to speak. We continue to be a violent society, with much of the carnage fueled by angry young men who lacked a father while growing up.
The only solution to the violence problem in America is a return to traditional parental involvement. Every elected official should encourage this. Also, the abandonment and neglect of children by their parents should have civil consequences. Who exactly is looking out for children who are ignored? The answer right now: No one.
America remains a great country, a place where most people have a decent chance at a successful life if they're honest and work hard. But we have lost our way when it comes to family matters.
The bullets prove it.

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