Now that America’s urbane sophisticates have had to acknowledge their status as a fringe group so out of touch with mainstream moral values, tournament bass fishing, Nascar and Christian rock that their electoral and cultural clout is marginally less than that of Casper, Wyo., legions of self-doubting highbrows are asking themselves how this decline into decadence occurred.
Because of what enfeebling bad habit did the proud and potent thinking class that gave us F.D.R. and J.F.K. fade into a cynical, ironic, smirking bunch of spiritual weaklings headed up by Al Franken and Michael Moore? Was the problem attending movies instead of church? Deserting Burger King for Whole Foods Market? No, I’ve concluded. The blame lies elsewhere. The seduction of America’s elites by the vices of humanism and skepticism can only be blamed on the New Yorker cartoon, an agent of corruption more insidious than LSD or the electric guitar.
The one and only.