The Corner

The New Nihilists

John Podhoretz nails it today in the New York Post, where he argues that the left doesn’t believe in anything overseas anymore besides despair. Paul Johnson made a related point in a piece for us a while ago–that the left’s new faith, now that socialism has died, is pessimism. I’m struck by this when I’m on college campuses. I want to say to these kids (and professors), “OK, you think Bush’s foreign policy is a disaster, but what do you believe, what’s the alternative, what’s your vision?” There is none. These people believe in nothing. They aren’t even soft-headed idealists anymore because Bush’s idealistic rhetoric has prompted them to reject idealism. All they have is a smug faith in American failure, that whatever we do–literally whatever we do: whether its militaristic or altruistic or something in between–is wrong and doomed to fail.


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