The Most Bombastic Thing You'll Read Today

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AUTHOR: Conrad Black, National Review columnist

OSTENSIBLE THESIS: The U.S. should "reassess its policy toward Europe ... reemphasiz[ing] Western solidarity and reform[ing] NATO"

MODE OF ARGUMENT: Periphrasis and commas


  • Vocabulary: "debt-ridden floundering," "torpid dyspepsia," "socialistic quixotry," "apologetic diffidence," "socialist over-regimentation," "tenebrous thicket," "glib Euro-conceit," "present slovenly confidence trick," "advanced and aspirant democracies," "Manichaean ordeals," "Spenglerian decline"
  • Syntax: "It must rank as one of history's great ironies that on the heels of the immense and relatively bloodless Western victory of the Cold War, and the emergence of the United States as the world's only unrivaled superpower in history, the whole West, except for Canada and Australia, quickly mismanaged itself into an anthill of decay and confusion."


The advanced and aspirant democracies should reinvent themselves in dedication to victory in the third great era of the world's democratization, following the glorious victories of World War II over Fascism and of the Cold War over Communism. We have not got through those implacable Manichaean ordeals to enter the Spenglerian decline of the West. To quote famous preceptors, "If not us, who? If not now, when?"

POSTSCRIPT: "I shall offer some specific proposals next week."

WIRE'S ADDENDUM: George Will had better hang onto his thesaurus and watch his back--wait, make that "posterior"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.