Imagine what it must be like to be the editor of globalism's Rain Man, Thomas Friedman. Your job, ostensibly, is to hammer this man's prose into some semblance of logical readability, and yet he has built a fabulously lucrative career on his total lack of logic, readability, or, really, variety of any kind. Clearly, his editors have now made the only sensible choice: "Eh, just put that shit right in the paper exactly how he typed it on his Blackberry." (*Big shot of heroin*)
What was Thomas Friedman's column in yesterday's New York Times—American journalism's biggest stage—about? "The World We're Actually Living In." I... I see.
But there is a reason President Obama is leading on national security, and it was apparent in his U.N. speech last week, which showed a president who understands that we really do live in a more complex world today - and that saying so is not a cop-out. It's a road map. Mitt Romney, given his international business background, should understand this, but he acts instead as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes, where the menu and architecture rarely changes.
"[X] is not a cop-out. It's a road map." It's quite amazing that after a decades-long career as a professional writer, Thomas Friedman still has yet to grasp the concept of metaphor—specifically, that when comparing two separate things as metaphors, those metaphors should have some relation to one another (even a merely rhetorical one), rather than simply being two completely separate items that, in the impenetrable mind of Thomas Friedman, compare to two separate things, somehow. "[X] is not a cop-out. It's a copper mine." This, for example, would be a metaphor that, even if it is as vapid as most of Thomas Friedman's metaphors, would at least have a certain rhetorical flow to it, and then he could make something up to justify the specifics after the fact. Nobody's expecting any real insight here anyhow. But no. Thomas Friedman's New York Times contract specifically affords him the right to mix metaphors like motherfucking Mix Master Mike mixing records, made of metaphors. That's not a cop-out. It's a giraffe.
Let's look at the world we're actually living in. It is a world that has become much more interdependent so that our friends failing (like Greece) can now harm us as much as our enemies threatening, and our rivals (like China) collapsing can hurt us as much as their rising. It's a world where a cheap YouTube video made by a superempowered individual can cause us more trouble than the million-dollar propaganda campaign of a superpower competitor. It is a globalized economy in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America's largest business lobby, has opposed Romney's pledge to designate China as a currency manipulator and is pressing Congress to lift cold war trade restrictions on Russia, a country Romney has labeled America's "No. 1 geopolitical foe." It is a world where, at times, pulling back - and focusing on rebuilding our strength at home - is the most meaningful foreign policy initiative we can undertake because when America is at its best - its institutions, schools and values - it can inspire emulation, whereas Russia and China still have to rely on transactions or bullying to get others to follow. It is still a world where the use of force, or the threat of force, against implacable foes (Iran) is required, but a world where a nudge at the right time and place can also be effective.
Let's [tough-minded "get real"-type of statement about our world]. It's a world that has become [technology-related buzzword] so that [Google News search "US allies problems"], and [Google News search "US competitors economics"]. It's a world where [Google News search "Youtube OR Facebook OR Twitter OR iPad OR 'cloud computing'] can cause more trouble than a [biggest number Thomas Friedman can think of]-dollar propaganda campaign of a superpower competitor. [Boilerplate about the rise of globalization]. [Virtually meaningless platitude, INSERT "Russia" "China" "Iran"]. [Conclusion so vague as to nearly contradict itself].
Thomas Friedman, as a fabulously wealthy and influential political columnist with the ear of CEOs and political leaders across the globe, please, share some of your hard-won wisdom with us common folk, that we may choose wisely this November.
The morning after the election, we will face a huge "cliff": how to deal with Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, without guidance from the candidates or a mandate from voters. Voters will have to go with their gut about which guy has the best gut feel for navigating this world. Obama has demonstrated that he has something there. Romney has not.
"In conclusion, go with your gut—about the candidate's gut. I have a gut feeling about their guts. You have a gut. Something in there, about someone else's gut? Go with it. Or not. It's a gut reaction. And my gut tells me: IHOP is delicious."
"I live in a huge mansion and am paid handsomely to write." —Thomas Friedman.
[NYT. Photo: Getty]