The U.S. Is Losing Its Sense of Humor

The Obama administration is destroying many things intrinsic to the United States. Much has been written about them. It has certainly diminished national pride, once substantial and a source of the incredible optimism which propelled the country to greatness.

Even France, the butt of numerous jokes in the past, seems to warrant more national pride now than the United States; it is at least making some appropriate noises. It was formerly said, "We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." How things do change! Fortunately, Israel and even little Honduras are showing spunk, contrary to the misguided dictates of the Obama administration.

The loss of national pride and national direction are bad enough, but we are also losing our sense of humor. They go hand in glove. It is difficult to laugh when bitterness prevails and the urge to cry is so great, and it is difficult to get out of such a mess without a sense of humor. This is, or should be, a problem for those who still think highly of President Obama, as well as for those who don't now or never did. I can't seem to recall any time during the past sixty or so years when bitterness and seriousness were so deeply rooted and laughter so restrained. Even the "gallows humor" which prevailed during our wars seems to have been lost. This is not surprising. At least during the first and second world wars and the Korean "conflict," there was some sense of national unity which enabled her to prevail; well, maybe not in Korea. No matter how dire things seemed, jokes could be made about the situation; that is much more difficult when national goals are amorphous. As one (among many) columnist put it:

Since Obama took office, he has been abandoning one U.S. ally after another while seeking to curry favor with one U.S. adversary after another. At every turn, America's allies -- from Israel to Honduras, to Columbia, South Korea and Japan, to Poland and the Czech Republic -- have reacted with disbelief and horror to his treachery. And at every turn, America's adversaries -- from Iran to Venezuela to North Korea and Russia -- have responded with derision and contempt to his seemingly obsessive attempts to appease them.

I agree, and Honduras and Venezuela are shining examples, geographically close to the United States and closer to Panamá, where I live. It is difficult to retain a sense of humor in these circumstances; there is little to be found about which to laugh. I'm waiting for some congresscritter, a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, to offer legislation replacing the eagle with the dodo bird as the country's national emblem. Former President Clinton says that the same vast right-wing conspiracy which targeted him is now targeting President Obama. He said, "It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was" back when Monica Lewinsky was on the president's staff.

Even in talking with close friends of different political persuasions, political discussion is pretty much off-limits, lest anger erupt. My experience has been that religion, once taboo, can be discussed with far less anger. We fear what we hate, and we generally hate what we fear. The wicked Papists or the wicked Protestants were once the problem. Then came China and Russia. Now, it's each other, conservative vs. leftist. White vs. black. Rich vs. poor.