Alex Massie

OK, so maybe the lunch queue isn’t totalitarian, but...

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Gene Healy draws attention to this Bill Clinton quotation from 1997*:

And it’s hard when you’re not threatened by a foreign enemy to whip people up to a fever pitch of common, intense, sustained, disciplined endeavor. But that is what we must do, my fellow Americans. That is what we must do.

I don't mean to pick on Bill Clinton here since, after all, Barack Obama and John McCain would each agree with the sentiment expressed by Clinton here. So too would George W Bush who, accepting his party's nomination in 2000, lamented the lack of "purpose"

*Of course, many of the American right would say that the US was threatened in 1997 and that Clinton was culpable in not addressing this threat. Of course (again), that's not what they said then.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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