Good Riddance to that Foul Year of Our Lord, 2021
If tomorrow ever comes, today will never return
Twenty Twenty-One began with my father dying on the forty-eighth anniversary of my grandmother’s death, January 3. He never had Covid, but what a perfect introduction to the worst year in American history.
Oh, sure, America saw worse years for specific categories of events. Wars, pandemics, depressions, panics, earthquakes, floods, droughts, and volcanoes wreaked havoc on past generations. Covid killed fewer people than many other acts of God and man. But 2021 saw something far more tragic than the loss of human life. (Yes, I said that.)
Twenty twenty-one was the year most Americans gave up on the American promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A majority of Americans reject America’s founding principles. They might not admit such, but they live as slaves and beg to be slaves. They want a master. Not a divine-right king who feels a duty to his subjects, but a slave-master who demands service from his chattel. (If you disagree, I’d be happy to debate in the comments or in person.)
Remarkably, America’s surrender to authoritarianism was predicted 200 years ago by a French aristocrat visiting and studying the USA. Rather than opining, I thought I’d let Alexis de Tocqueville tell you what happened in 2021. See if you recognize anything.
Historical Precedence: None
Let’s begin with Tocqueville’s introduction to his examination of the kind of despotism that America might spawn.
No sovereign ever lived in former ages so absolute or so powerful as to undertake to administer by his own agency, and without the assistance of intermediate powers, all the parts of a great empire: none ever attempted to subject all his subjects indiscriminately to strict uniformity of regulation, and personally to tutor and direct every member of the community.1