"Outrage is sweeping America"
- Joe Scarborough 4/27/06
Even I am stunned. I thought I understood how decadent the American People and their representatives have become over the years, coddled as they have been in the bubble of flattery that is our public culture. But the level of outrage incited by current gas prices, the expressions of indignation from the man at the pump and by defiant congresspersons of both parties -- daring at last to take on Exxon Mobil -- the emotional temperature on this issue, tells you just how profoundly indifferent to the fate of the world the citizenry of this country is. Look at the coverage. It's as if this crisis came out of nowhere. It's as if no one ever warned them. It's as if they have been blindsided by this development. High gas prices are outraging our people like nothing else, not Iraq, not even 9/11.
The truth is that they don't care. They don't care about Darfur. They don't care about New Orleans. They don't care about passing massive debt on to their grandchildren. They don't care about the death of millions of innocents. They don't care about a world hanging by a thread of limited resources. They don't care.
They don't even know. Because they don't want to. They don't want to think about it.
What they do know and care about is pumping gas into those ludicrous SUVs they swan around in. What they care about is their commute, their summer road trip. That's what really matters -- to them and so to their representatives (we will not say leaders). With everything that's going on in the world, catastrophic events that even the most willfully ignorant could not possibly miss -- with all of that, gas prices turn out to be the issue that arouses the nation.
Brett Hume described the recent demonstrations by immigrants and their supporters as a "repellent spectacle." Watch the pain at the pump show. There's a really repellent spectacle.