To anybody who has been around for half a century or more, much of what passes for politics today is bound to seem intolerably trivial, ludicrously frivolous, culpably complacent. Serious public consideration of foreign policy has virtually ceased. When we Cold Warriors contemplate the present generation of leaders’ contemptible lack of courage and absence of principle in the face of far less formidable foes than those defeated by their predecessors, we cannot believe our eyes. Meanwhile, domestic politics often seems to have descended into the gutter, a squalid contest between greed and envy, dominated by naked appeals to the lowest common denominators of public opinion. The less trustworthy and statesmanlike our politicians and officials become, the more overweening their ambition to control every aspect of our lives. The malaise of political megalomania afflicts all three branches of...


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