When the transcript is up, I’ll publish the excerpt. But readers of my book — who are actually watching this — should have immediately recognized the moral equivalent of war argument in Obama’s opening remarks. In short, he wants to recreate the spirit after 9/11 — just without 9/11. He wants Americans to act like they did when we felt we were under attack and at war, but just without war.
1) This is the century old American progressive project, pure and simple. Create a climate where everyone joins in a collective, state-run or directed, effort without the external threat of actual war. This Jamesian vision was the galvanizing principle behind progressivism and fascism alike, and they endure today — and we call them noble.
2) It can’t be done. You cannot sustain a civil society war footing without a war (or natural disaster) for long before people (rightly) return to their own lives.