Talking With Mark Steyn About “After America”
I spent an hour interviewing Mark Steyn about his new best-seller,After America, on Monday’s program. The transcript is here, and Steyn is as funny and full of insight in a long-form interview as he is as a columnist or undocumented guest host filling in for Rush or Sean.
The key question: Does it have to end with tears?
HH: Mark Steyn, when I finished After America, what occurred to me was actually a scene in Dickens’ Christmas Carol, at the end, when Scrooge is with the ghost of Christmas future, and he says to the ghost, “Before I draw near to that stone to which you point, answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be? Or are they shadows of things that may be only? Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends to which if persevered in, they must lead,” Scrooge continues, “but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.” My question, Mark Steyn, say it is thus with what you write about After America.
MS: Yes, I think Dickens is right in that sense that our fate is not foreordained to the degree that I lay out in After America. I wrote After America, because I don’t want it to come true. I’ll be very sad if it comes true. When I wrote about Europe in America Alone, everything that has happened in the five years since has confirmed my thesis, even thought the smart guys of the Economist said my book was alarmist. I think if anything, it was insufficiently alarmist. I don’t want this, the vision of a post-American world, to come true. But to do that, Americans have to understand that when Obama stands up today and talks about long term problems, no. It’s not about…you can’t sit around and form another commission that you’re going to ignore, and talk about your long term problems. We’ve got to fix the short term problems, or we’re not going to be around long enough to get clobbered by the long term problems.