Peace and prosperity cannot be trusted by the corrupt. They need war and sacrifice and conscription. They mistake liberty for decline because of the way they sinfully indulge their free time. They don't understand the rewards of industry or the moral constraint of free and honest enterprise. All profit is moral hazard to them that horsetrade and try to bankroll virtue with loot of vice. There's always some dirt in their deal, and so they assume that the biggest deals must be hugely dirty. If there were no truth in that such people would never come to power.
I don't know what it might take to get us to shine, to chrome dip ourselves and smooth out our inevitable pits and pockmarks so that life's mud doesn't stick. More likely it's a daily scrubbing that gives us a finer finish. But we cannot wait for the gang press of war. We have to wash our faces every day and prepare to work. An early start beats fast running a steady daily prayer beats shouting and screaming at the last moment. America is moving from crisis to crisis. We are in glum preparation for a dozen wars, we are girding ourselves for economies of shame within economies of doom. We have irony as our sidekick, a snide muse aiding in our craven calculations.
Bolsheviks vs Nazis. No escape.