Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Happy days are here again

Claudia Rosett is one of our favorite columnists. Usually she's to be found reporting on the progress of liberty, such as the recent events in Lebanon. Today she weighs in with a cheerful column reflecting on how far we've come in the past few years. The beginning is excerpted below; you can (and should!) read the whole thing here.

It's always risky to celebrate security and good times, especially in an age when there is no way to rule out that along with the usual perils of life, we will suffer another terrorist attack. But this spring, more than 3 1/2 years after Sept. 11, it does seem that since that day America has weathered a rough passage awfully well. That, and with the cherry trees just done blooming in Washington and New York's Central Park full of flowers (and, in the grand old tradition, amateur baseball teams), it feels worth a moment to stand back and observe that for all the usual ructions of politics and the more prominent idiocies of such institutions as Hollywood, academia and the imploding United Nations in our midst, rarely in recent decades has there been more sanity and self-respect abroad in this land.

That is clear not only in such minor but telling details as the humor with which Laura Bush, onstage at a press dinner in Washington this weekend, poked affectionate fun at the president's early bedtime habits--and was received with clamorous applause by an audience not overly loving of George W. Bush. It is also clear in such major matters as the resolve of most Americans, despite the loud groans of our most precious elite, to stay united behind the president in the need to win both the wars and the peace, in Afghanistan, Iraq and by extension a world in which we spend less effort appeasing our enemies and do more to address real threats. Better times can be seen in an economic recovery that has left room for the country to debate such matters as the fixing of the decrepit and wasteful Social Security system. And broadly better days are manifest in the general grace with which Americans in recent times have put up with high gas prices, disastrous weather, the threat of more terrorist attacks and the costs of trying to prevent them.

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