Who dares disturb the dreams of old men? It matters not the degree to which reality has made them obsolete (both the dreams and the old men). They dream on, dreaming their dreams of glory, the dreams of the greatest generation gone to seed, their morality numbed by the greatness of the slaughter that generation generated.
Even with the fall of the Soviet Union, aged cold war warriors fire their fading minds with dreams of an impotent Russia. One writer captured their spirit when he wrote:
[T]he strategy of bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO is part of a far larger and more dangerous strategic long-term plan of Washington to ultimately encircle, confront and dismember Russia as a functioning state. Russia, even more than China, is the most formidable obstacle to a Washington-centered sole superpower, Pax Americana.
America may be bankrupt and broken, but the old men dream on. Nor does it matter that Europe has indefinitely blocked the entrance of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Dreams die hard.
A mind blinded by hubris is a crippled mind, which is why the clumsiest phenomenon on the face of the earth is foreign policy. Just when things appear to be going smoothly, somebody stumbles and a war breaks out.
The only difference between policy and dementia is that policy can be transmitted. Its madness passeth from one generation to the next. This gives it an unstoppable momentum similar to that of an eighteen-wheeler plunging off a cliff.
So, the old men dream, and glory rides their dreams just as our prosperity rode a succession of asset bubbles. But unlike bubbles, dreams rarely pop. They just go dormant until conditions favor their reappearance. This is why feral corporatism was able to survive the New Deal. Conditions changed and the dream of infinite growth in an finite world resurfaced.
Don’t dash their dreams, Barack. Nurture and care for them, for their dreams are the path to glory.