I have been thinking for a while that the Culture Wars are turning and that the pervasive “libo-progressivism” of our Kultur is moving slowly rightward, but several reports of the last few days have convinced me this is happening more quickly than I had imagined.
The first comes from a post by the Anchoress showing parallels between recent comments by Woody Allen and NYT columnist Tom Friedman. Both men seem to be suffering from a kind of nostalgie du fascisme as opposed to the better known and more bohemian nostalgie de la boue — yearning for the mud — popularized by Orwell and others. (I wish it were the latter).
Woody Allen told Spain’s La Vanguardia that it would be a good idea if Barack Obama could be dictator for a “few years” to overcome obstructionist Republicans. Just a few days later, Friedman fantasized, on Meet the Press yet, that the solution to America’s problems might be to be more like China.
These are liberals? Well, you might say, and you might be right (pace Jonah Goldberg), that this has been their unspoken attitude all along. But publicly, this is crazy stuff. It’s self-destructive. Okay, Woody’s career is close to over, but Friedman still has his spot on the NYT opinion page. Talking about emulating the butchers of Tiananmen, even in jest, makes him sound like a totalitarian nutcase. Why is he spouting this stuff? Why is the governor coming off his motor now?