At times, Peggy Noonan write some of the most insightful and astute political commentary of our times. At others, she writes things like this:
In terms of public support, Mr. Obama shouldn't get too abstract. He should be thinking hardhats. People want to make their country strong--literally, concretely, because the things they fear (terrorism, global collapse) are so huge and amorphous. Lately I think the biggest thing Americans fear, deep dow--the thing they'd say if you could put the whole nation on the couch and say, "Just free associate, tell me what you fear?--is, "I am afraid we will run out of food. And none of us have gardens, and we haven't taught our children how to grow things. Everything is bought in a store. What if the store closes? What if the choke points through which the great trucks travel from farmland to city get cut off? I have two months of canned goods. I'm afraid."
I'm afraid not Peggy. If you want to talk about the biggest thing that I fear deep down, it ain't whether or not my kids know how to grow corn. No, it probably would have something to do with a mushroom cloud billowing out from downtown Minneapolis.
I have at least two weeks of bottled beer. I'm not afraid.