America's prodigal heirs

The one thing no generation of parents can protect their children from is reality. No inheritance can withstand the foolishness of heirs. The harsh arithmetic on the frontier, the terrible outflow of dollars and cents, the gradual and then sudden loss of credibility as people see they are dealing not with serious people but with gilded fools cumulate their irresistible effects. In the end the gay parade of capering children enters a dark cavern and the entrance shuts behind them. Those who don’t want to join in this cavalcade have two duties.

The first is to survive; to have the wit to realize that if something can’t go on, then it won’t. The administration is touting “green shoots”. Others might use the phrase “pushing up daisies”. People who can tell the difference have got to rig for depth charges and evade worst; but be ready to take aggressive productive action where they can.

But the second duty is more important. Those unentranced by the magic flute have an obligation to remember what happened; to keep the history books free of revisionism so that by shame and memory those pied pipers who led a generation astray can never return unchallenged to sound their witching tune again.