By Chet Yarbrough
By Mark Steyn
Narrated by Brian Emerson
There is no truth in political punditry; i.e. there is only opinion. Mark Steyn runs the billiard table from William Buckley to, sadly, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, and Rush Limbaugh in “America Alone”. His commentary ranges from erudite insight to conservative rant.
Listening to Brian Emerson’s narration of Steyn’s book makes one smile and cringe. In one section Steyn intelligently reflects on the demographics of world population and then, in the next page, whips out a Glenn Beck-like’ riff on the name “Muhammad” that sounds like Michele Bachmann’s guilt-by-association comment about ex-Senator Wiener’s wife’s meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood representative; i.e. Steyn incriminates the entire Muslim religion by inferring that it is a fascist conspiracy to take over the world.
On the one hand, Steyn reasonably notes that the average age of many Muslim countries is 15 and that youth is often a source of discontent and aberrant cultural behavior; on the other hand, he infers that the Muslim religion is a monolithic belief system that is bent on converting or destroying the world “…as We Know It”. Steyn flits from reason to nonsense at the turn of a page.
One appreciates an argument made by Steyn that socialist government policy has the potential for demotivating entrepreneurs and subsidizing economic freeloaders; however, one is frustrated by Steyn’s failure to criticize unregulated capitalism that increases the gap between rich and poor and presumes that “free enterprise” equates with equal opportunity.
Free enterprise does not exist in the world; particularly not in the United States, beginning with an unfair tax code and continuing through overt subsidies of big oil, big banks, and dying industries.
Steyn is obviously well read and informed but one feels like he plays the publicity game of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh that have the objective of being darlings of an ideological minority that can make them rich. Steyn wastes his intelligence; pandering to an ideological constituency rather than serving the general public by searching for the truth.
There is a truth and it lies in freedom and equal opportunity. Demographics are not destiny; i.e. demographics are a part of the human condition that can be managed by recognizing human nature’s fundamentals and conscientiously creating nations that are governed by rule-of-law.