Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

America: A Nation Apart (We're #1! We're #1!)
The Economist ^ | November 6, 2003 | John Parker

Posted on 11/08/2003 6:26:47 PM PST by quidnunc

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last
This drives the Euroexcreta and their fellow-travellers out of their rabbit-assed minds.
1 posted on 11/08/2003 6:26:47 PM PST by quidnunc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Exceptional Bump.
2 posted on 11/08/2003 6:30:10 PM PST by tet68 (Patrick Henry ......."Who fears the wrath of cowards?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc

3 posted on 11/08/2003 6:35:09 PM PST by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Southack
I've never really thought of Europeans as sandel wearing chocolate makers, but now that I've given it some thought it seems quite fitting.
4 posted on 11/08/2003 6:39:33 PM PST by bereanway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
GOD BLESS AMERICA bump
5 posted on 11/08/2003 6:40:14 PM PST by apackof2 (Watch and pray till you see Him coming, no one knows the hour or the day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
This is what people don't understand. We're not exceptional because we're powerful, we're powerful because we're exceptional. I was stunned at the graphs on the article. Can you imagine only 20% of the people in france are proud of being french? Even the Brits, with only 50% being proud of being British.
6 posted on 11/08/2003 6:47:08 PM PST by McGavin999
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Another Rambling, incoherent essay about the USA filled with meaningless International Psychobabel from the "The Economist" (Aka "The Communist")
7 posted on 11/08/2003 6:53:00 PM PST by Pubbie (Vote "No" On Recall, "Yes" On Bustamante)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
I'm in the middle of reading the whole thing. It's great so far. I just hope people in Europe read it. They think they understand us, when they really have no idea.
8 posted on 11/08/2003 6:53:59 PM PST by wimpycat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: McGavin999; Sabertooth; JohnHuang2; Travis McGee
Can you imagine only 20% of the people in france are proud of being french?

Actually. Yes, I can imagine that =o). That does make sense.

9 posted on 11/08/2003 6:55:51 PM PST by GeronL (Visit www.geocities.com/geronl)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

10 posted on 11/08/2003 6:58:14 PM PST by Pikamax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pubbie
Pubbie wrote: Another Rambling, incoherent essay about the USA filled with meaningless International Psychobabel from the "The Economist" (Aka "The Communist")

What in the world are you going on about!?

11 posted on 11/08/2003 7:00:09 PM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Excellent article, thanks for posting it

Freegards,

Mike

12 posted on 11/08/2003 7:01:59 PM PST by MJY1288 (The Democrats Have Reached Rock Bottom and The Digging Continues)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
A nation apart

FRom The Economist print edition of November 6 2003


The terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 have not only widened the differences between America and the rest of the world, but have also deepened divisions within the country itself, says John Parker


AT NINE o'clock on the morning of September 11th 2001, President George Bush sat in an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, listening to seven-year-olds read stories about goats. ¡§Night fell on a different world,¡¨ he said of that day. And on a different America.

At first, America and the world seemed to change together. ¡§We are all New Yorkers now,¡¨ ran an e-mail from Berlin that day, mirroring John F. Kennedy's declaration 40 years earlier, ¡§Ich bin ein Berliner¡¨, and predicting Le Monde's headline the next day, ¡§Nous sommes tous Am?ricains¡¨. And America, for its part, seemed to become more like other countries. Al-Qaeda's strikes, the first on the country's mainland by a foreign enemy, stripped away something unique: its aura of invulnerability, its sense of itself as a place apart, ¡§the city on a hill¡¨.

Two days after the event, President George Bush senior predicted that, like Pearl Harbour, ¡§so, too, should this most recent surprise attack erase the concept in some quarters that America can somehow go it alone.¡¨ Francis Fukuyama, a professor at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, suggested that ¡§America may become a more ordinary country in the sense of having concrete interests and real vulnerabilities, rather than thinking itself unilaterally able to define the nature of the world it lives in.¡¨

Both men were thinking about foreign policy. But global terrorism changed America at home as well. Because it made national security more important, it enhanced the role of the president and the federal government. Twice as many Americans as in the 1990s now say that they are paying a lot of attention to national affairs, where they used to care more about business and local stories. Some observers noted ¡§a return to seriousness¡¨¡Xand indeed frivolities do not dominate television news as they used to.

But America has not become ¡§a more ordinary country¡¨, either in foreign policy or in the domestic arena. Instead, this survey will argue that the attacks of 2001 have increased ¡§American exceptionalism¡¨¡Xa phrase coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in the mid-19th century to describe America's profound differences from other nations. The features that the attacks brought to the surface were already there, but the Bush administration has amplified them. As a result, in the past two years the differences between America and other countries have become more pronounced.

Yet because America is not a homogeneous country¡Xindeed, its heterogeneity is one of its most striking features¡Xmany of its people feel uneasy about manifestations of exceptionalism. Hence, as this survey will also argue, the revival and expansion of American exceptionalism will prove divisive at home. This division will define domestic politics for years to come.

Not all New Yorkers any more

From the outside, the best indication of American exceptionalism is military power. America spends more on defence than the next dozen countries combined. In the nearest approach to an explicit endorsement of exceptionalism in the public domain, the National Security Strategy of 2002 says America must ensure that its current military dominance¡Xoften described as the greatest since Rome's¡Xis not even challenged, let alone surpassed.



In fact, military might is only a symptom of what makes America itself unusual. The country is exceptional in more profound ways. It is more strongly individualistic than Europe, more patriotic, more religious and culturally more conservative (see chart 1). Al-Qaeda's assaults stimulated two of these deeper characteristics. In the wake of the attacks, expressions of both love of country and love of God spiked. This did not necessarily mean Americans suddenly became more patriotic or religious. Rather, the spike was a reminder of what is important to them. It was like a bolt of lightning, briefly illuminating the landscape but not changing it.

The president seized on these manifestations of the American spirit. The day after he had defined America's enemies in his ¡§axis of evil¡¨ speech, in January 2002, Mr Bush told an audience in Daytona Beach, Florida, about his country's ¡§mission¡¨ in the world. ¡§We're fighting for freedom, and civilisation and universal values.¡¨ That is one strand of American exceptionalism. America is the purest example of a nation founded upon universal values, such as democracy and human rights. It is a standard-bearer, an exemplar.

But the president went further, seeking to change America's culture and values in ways that would make the country still more distinctive. ¡§We've got a great opportunity,¡¨ he said at Daytona. ¡§As a result of evil, there's some amazing things that are taking place in America. People have begun to challenge the culture of the past that said, ¡¥If it feels good, do it'. This great nation has a chance to help change the culture.¡¨ He was appealing to old-fashioned virtues of personal responsibility, self-reliance and restraint, qualities associated with a strand of exceptionalism that says American values and institutions are different and America is exceptional in its essence, not just because it is a standard-bearer.

On this view, America is not exceptional because it is powerful; America is powerful because it is exceptional. And because what makes America different also keeps it rich and powerful, an administration that encourages American wealth and power will tend to encourage intrinsic exceptionalism. Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations dubs this impulse ¡§American revivalism¡¨. It is not an explicit ideology but a pattern of beliefs, attitudes and instincts.


The Bush administration displays ¡§exceptionalist¡¨ characteristics to an unusual extent. It is more openly religious than any of its predecessors. Mr Bush has called Jesus his favourite philosopher. White House staff members arrange Bible study classes. The president's re-election team courts evangelical Protestant voters. The administration wants religious institutions to play a bigger role in social policy.

It also wears patriotism on its sleeve. That is not to say it is more patriotic than previous governments, but it flaunts this quality more openly, using images of the flag on every occasion and relishing America's military might to an unusual extent. More than any administration since Ronald Reagan's, this one is focused narrowly on America's national interest.

Related to this is a certain disdain for ¡§old Europe¡¨ which goes beyond frustrations over policy. By education and background, this is an administration less influenced than usual by those bastions of transatlanticism, Ivy League universities. One-third of President Bush senior's first cabinet secretaries, and half of President Clinton's, had Ivy League degrees. But in the current cabinet the share is down to a quarter. For most members of this administration, who are mainly from the heartland and the American west (Texas especially), Europe seems far away. They have not studied there. They do not follow German novels or French films. Indeed, for many of them, Europe is in some ways unserious. Its armies are a joke. Its people work short hours. They wear sandals and make chocolate. Europe does not capture their imagination in the way that China, the Middle East and America itself do.

Mr Bush's own family embodies the shift away from Euro-centrism. His grandfather was a senator from Connecticut, an internationalist and a scion of Brown Brothers Harriman, bluest of blue-blooded Wall Street investment banks. His father epitomised the transatlantic generation. Despite his Yale education, he himself is most at home on his Texas ranch.

Looked at this way, the Bush administration's policies are not only responses to specific problems, or to demands made by interest groups. They reflect a certain way of looking at America and the world. They embody American exceptionalism.
13 posted on 11/08/2003 7:03:38 PM PST by Brian Allen ( Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God - Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
The Editorial is incoherent, and the The Economist is a typical Ultra Liberal Euro-Rag hence I like to call it "the Communist".
14 posted on 11/08/2003 7:05:31 PM PST by Pubbie (Vote "No" On Recall, "Yes" On Bustamante)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: wimpycat
It is extremely long. I'm on about the fifth article. My eyes are starting to cross. Will check back in later.....
15 posted on 11/08/2003 7:07:01 PM PST by republicangel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc; Common Tator
This is important.

I have reviewed the ten-article series of this Survey of the United States by John Parker published in The Economist (London). You should save it now while it is easily done.
It will still be available in reprint, though.

I don't think I have seen a more thoughtful or powerful work since Paul Johnson.

This work is represents a reincarnation of de Tocqueville.

A thesis of 'Morning in America' has been written for our moment in time... and by an Englishman who really knows his economics.
16 posted on 11/08/2003 7:07:44 PM PST by edwin hubble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc

17 posted on 11/08/2003 7:09:50 PM PST by 4mycountry (Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pubbie
You should read the WHOLE article before passing jusgement. A very interesting part when he starts describing the Red and Blue states in the 2000 election.

The differences between the people in the 2 parties also. Guess which party description included the word "hedonistic" ?

18 posted on 11/08/2003 7:10:38 PM PST by republicangel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Short attention span.
19 posted on 11/08/2003 7:11:46 PM PST by wimpycat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: edwin hubble
edwin hubble wrote: This is important. I have reviewed the ten-article series of this Survey of the United States by John Parker published in The Economist (London). You should save it now while it is easily done. It will still be available in reprint, though.

I have it saved as a word-processing document (minus graphics).

I will send it to anyone if they request it at quidnunctheantikook@hotmail.com

20 posted on 11/08/2003 7:12:32 PM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Best line of the whole series of articles:

No one knows which of these ideas will be more influential in the world in future: America's top-dog exceptionalism or the EU's basket of squealing puppies.

21 posted on 11/08/2003 7:12:56 PM PST by wimpycat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
bttt
22 posted on 11/08/2003 7:15:00 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pubbie
America is not exceptional because it is powerful; America is powerful because it is exceptional.

How true. Excellent article.

23 posted on 11/08/2003 7:15:38 PM PST by Jorge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
My favorite quote from the article:

In the 2000 election, 63% of those who went to church more than once a week voted for George Bush; 61% of those who never went voted for Al Gore. About 70% of those who said abortion should always be available voted for Mr Gore; 74% of those who said it should always be illegal voted for Mr Bush. As Pete du Pont, a former governor of Delaware, pointed out, a map showing the sales and rentals of porn movies bore an eerie resemblance to the map of the 2000 election results.

24 posted on 11/08/2003 7:35:15 PM PST by Ronzo (GOD alone is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
IMO -- unless one is just a knee-jerk reactionary who sees things in only black and white -- this set of articles should be seen as just plain excellent!

No human entity on earth is perfect. The best any country can claim is to be more good than bad and striving to get even better. That's basically what this series states.

AND, if your keeping score, the US looks MUCH better than the rest of the world by comparison in this series.

I don't agree with (even close) to every point in this series, MANY I would ardently disagree with if taken alone.

However, for a far reaching effort, I've not seen better.

I've saved all the parts of the series, as well.
25 posted on 11/08/2003 7:39:17 PM PST by Jackson Brown
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bear_in_RoseBear
Pingpingping!
26 posted on 11/08/2003 7:49:15 PM PST by Rose in RoseBear (HHD [Visit THORLO SOCKS at http://www.thorlo.com! They support our troops!])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
"Indeed, for many of them, Europe is in some ways unserious."

Indeed, for even more of them, Europe is decadent and self-destructive.

27 posted on 11/08/2003 7:55:45 PM PST by Savage Beast (The meaning of the California Revolution: The socioeconomic fabric is not indestructable.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple; Molly Pitcher; JRandomFreeper; PhiKapMom; nicollo; Common Tator; Dog; dittomom; ...
America is not exceptional because it is powerful; America is powerful because it is exceptional.


28 posted on 11/08/2003 8:02:43 PM PST by kayak (The Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy is truly Vast! [JohnHuang2])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: quidnunc
Well, you just pooched an hour of my Saturday night! Very, very interesting article, and thank you for posting it.

Later, maybe - I'm going to have to chew on this one awhile.

30 posted on 11/08/2003 8:13:30 PM PST by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
"It is not an explicit ideology but a pattern of beliefs, attitudes and instincts."

Does he mean this exceptionalism will cause trouble on the national political scene for decades to come because that exceptionalism has become deluted as the nation has balkanized?

Maybe politicans like Clinton had better weigh the cost of the loss of that exceptionalism before embracing and proclaiming their desire to bring to an end the dominance of the european culture in this nation.

31 posted on 11/08/2003 8:37:48 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: republicangel
You should read the WHOLE article before passing judgement.

Very true. This is a passage from the article previous to the posted:

In 1929, Jay Lovestone, the head of the American communist party, was summoned to Moscow. Stalin demanded to know why the worldwide communist revolution had advanced not one step in the largest capitalist country. Lovestone replied that America lacked the preconditions for communism, such as feudalism and aristocracy. No less an authority than Friedrich Engels had said the same thing, talking of “the special American conditions...which make bourgeois conditions look like a beau idéal to them.” So had an Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, and a British socialist, H.G. Wells, who had both argued that America's unique origins had produced a distinctive value system and unusual politics.

Works for me.

32 posted on 11/08/2003 9:07:21 PM PST by elbucko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Pikamax
70 percent of the French are not proud to be French. And who says the French have no shame.
33 posted on 11/08/2003 9:17:47 PM PST by Tribune7 (It's not like he let his secretary drown in his car or something.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Must read. BTTTTT.
34 posted on 11/08/2003 9:24:52 PM PST by ellery
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Thank you for posting these articles! I've been reading them off and on for the last two hours. This is more balanced than most of the stuff published in the U.S. And, as always, the de Tocqueville quotes never cease to amaze me.
35 posted on 11/08/2003 9:37:16 PM PST by sweetjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Thanks for linking this very interesting article. While quite useful in explaining to the Europeons some of the qualities that cause American exceptionalism, I question the the validity of the author's grasp of internal American dynamics. First, he seems to have no understanding of the economics of America. The federal deficits have not been caused by the tax cuts (which to date have been in the handsful of billions) but by the recession, with the 9/11 enhancer. With the current strong growth of the economy, due to low interest rates and tax cuts, the projected deficits are falling dramatically. This will not lead to an economic impasse as Parker argues. Second, he describes President Bush as a very polarizing figure. I would argue the polarization began with the Great Society approach in the late 1960's. This was greatly intensified with the merger of this socialist program with personal power aggrandizing degeneracy in the Clinton administration.

Two charts are very interesting. One shows the collapse in Democratic Party identification from roughly 50% to roughly 30% between the election of Jimmy Carter and the end of the Reagan administration. The second was Democrat approval of President Bush. This spiked to very high levels after 9/11, but has fallen in straight line fashion ever since to below 20% today. The great majority of Democrats cannot tolerate a President who will actively defend the American people and interest. They are the Party of Treason. If the patriots in that party, such as Zell Miller, can be brought into the Republican fold, a major realignment of the body politic will be complete. Conservatives need to argue for a limited government agenda within that realignment.

36 posted on 11/08/2003 9:39:41 PM PST by Faraday
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
I've just read the first part. I did pick out the last sentence in the part about President Bush. To wit, By exaggerating existing divisions, Mr. Bush seems to have hardened his country's battle lines. And they seem to have hardened him.

I trust that to mean divisions within the country. It sounds soooooo leftist. I disagree that President Bush exaggerated existing divisions. Look at the left's "issue" du jour. Sixteen words, "imminent" threat, "Mission Accomplished!" banner, and many more. "Issues" are weapons. I watched the left destroy the Vietnam era wartime administration. They are trying to do it again. That was one reason we lost the Vietnam war here not in Vietnam.

Not all Americans agree that exceptional is good.

Robert Jensen, an employee of the journalism school at the University of Texas at Austin, says journalism should never yield to patriotism. It is journalism's job he suggests to bring every American to ask: Can we move beyond being American?

Why should we do that? Well, you see "Given the destructive capacity of the United States -- and our history of using it in the interests of power, not people -- never before has our answer been more important."

Others of his ilk agree and they are the majority in many mainstream sectors. It is the European chattering class attitude. It is here also and it is potent. They are one.

Even another 9/11 will not unite us, our left will blame America -- again!

Unlike the Vietnam war this one is for all the marbles. It's bad enough that it's turned into another politicians' war where PC is the scourge while the politicians' "graduated response" was it for Vietnam.

There is only one option. A temporary patriot-dictator to lead America through our early 21st century wars. If President Bush won't do it then we need to have another man step forward.

Perhaps if I had not seen the political quagmire of the Vietnam era I too would recoil at losing constitutional rights even temporarily. IMO if we want to keep our exceptional Nation we must take exceptional actions.

How to make it happen? One way might be to force the left into violent action by bringing back 1950s congressional investigations of their loyalty. A more risky way is a Democrat in the White House and trust patriots in the military and law enforcement to watch him (her?) closely and act to protect our Republic. These are interesting times.

Oh, lest we forget. There's Red China looking our way.

37 posted on 11/08/2003 9:44:10 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Good post, thanks.
38 posted on 11/08/2003 9:50:19 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: McGavin999
That is amazing. We need more reports (and postings) like this.
39 posted on 11/08/2003 10:36:41 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
To be honest, if I were French today, I wouldn't be all that proud of it. : )
40 posted on 11/08/2003 10:38:00 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Next time, please don't preach to the choir(We're #1! We're #1!). How about very long read?

Otherwise, it was a very interesting article that remarkably failed to note America's "obsession with guns" while mentioning crime and capital punishment. I'm shocked, shocked in article that so described us American cowboys.
41 posted on 11/08/2003 10:42:31 PM PST by neverdem (Say a prayer for New York both for it's lefty statism and the probability the city will be hit again)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jorge
Yes, how true! To use O'Riley's characterization of Americans, the "folks" are exceptional and I think that trait is going to continue to saturate our society with positive change as a response to our 9/11 "wake-up" call. Freedom cannot be maintained through neglect..Constant vigilence is the price.
42 posted on 11/09/2003 3:21:08 AM PST by jazzlite (esat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
the Euroexcreta and their fellow-travellers

Great construct!

The blue zones are populated with europhiles. They must be decisively defeated in 2004.

43 posted on 11/09/2003 3:48:07 AM PST by Jim Noble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
Re: The europhiles must be decisively defeated in 2004

How about Electoral votes: Bush, 520. Europhiles 17?

I really believe that North Vietnam may have been willing to get serious about peace talks in 1968 had our media (esp. TV) been more balanced reporting on the Tet offensive. Certainly Nixon believed that they would or he'd make them. He won just under 1 million more popular votes than Humphrey.

What Nixon did not know was that the American press was about to strip down to their black pajamas and earn the coveted General Giap "Most Valuable Guerilla Award." The establishment leftist fed the press efforts. Nevertheless, in 1972 Nixon won by a little more than 60 percent of the popular vote and won all states but one. Electoral votes: 520 to 17. There was one "blue" state.

Less than two years later he was out and the Communist had their victory assured. Nixon's plumbers' dirty tricks? How about Dick Tuck? Who? Aw, that Dick Tuck, the Democrats' dirty tricks were humorous -- you know, like today their lies and violent language are just satire.

Though both parties bugged each other nevertheless, months after the break in, the left tried the Watergate "issue." The Watergate frenzy began. Watergate was an "issues" nuke weapon that destroyed a wartime administration.

The left is desperate to find an "issue" nuke weapon today. So far nothing they've tried has worked. Losing all fifty states to George Bush won't stop them.

IMO the left desperately wants to use the war to transfer much of our sovereignty and military to the UN or other international control. Some of them actually feeeeeeeeeeeeeel that it is best. For example, Madeline Allbright said on the Medved radio show that she would give up sovereignty for "safety."

The ends justify the means. To fight that it's going to take exceptional acts. Mere elections ain't enough history has proven.

44 posted on 11/09/2003 7:30:45 AM PST by WilliamofCarmichael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: WilliamofCarmichael
"The ends justify the means. To fight that it's going to take exceptional acts. Mere elections ain't enough history has proven."

Despite the perfidy of the left, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, and in the process reap the whirlwind.


45 posted on 11/09/2003 8:05:00 AM PST by neverdem (Say a prayer for New York both for it's lefty statism and the probability the city will be hit again)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
neverdem wrote: Next time, please don't preach to the choir(We're #1! We're #1!). How about very long read?

How about if you post articles they way you want and I'll post them as I want?

46 posted on 11/09/2003 8:09:42 AM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
"How about if you post articles they way you want and I'll post them as I want?"

Whatever suits your fancy. I don't like speed reading, and like another person's comment on this thread, it took me about 2 hours to read. Giving a head's up is a common courtesy. No offense was intended.


47 posted on 11/09/2003 8:26:47 AM PST by neverdem (Say a prayer for New York both for it's lefty statism and the probability the city will be hit again)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc
Interesting read
48 posted on 11/09/2003 9:23:17 AM PST by rb22982
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quidnunc



America versus the world
Greatest danger, or greatest hope?
Nov 6th 2003
From The Economist print edition
Yes, America is different. But it always has been. Mostly, the difference is good for the world, not bad
UNTIL a little over two years ago, the fashionable topic for debate in conferences, opinion pages and even bars around the world was whether globalisation was really Americanisation, and whether that was a good or a bad thing. Now, few pundits anguish about whether their countries are having to become more like America. The fashionable source of anxiety in both Europe and Asia is whether America is becoming so different from everywhere else that it is becoming a problem for the world, not a solution. It is not just a reckless Bush administration leading America astray, in other words. On this view, the United States is now inherently assertive and unilateralist, and so can no longer be trusted to lead the world. Instead, it should be feared.
Inevitably, Iraq is the crucible for this debate, though other events and actions?the Kyoto Protocol, the anti-ballistic missile treaty, the International Criminal Court, Guantanamo Bay, federal budget deficits, even cotton subsidies?are being called in as thesis reinforcements. Yet Iraq ought also to cast this debate in a colder, more sobering light. Will it be better for the world if America succeeds in bringing stability, prosperity and even democracy to Iraq, or if it fails? Is it American competence that is feared, or incompetence? If America, under George Bush or a Democratic rival, were to withdraw hastily under the pressure of attacks such as the downing in Iraq on November 2nd of a military helicopter (see article), would that be an encouraging sign of humility or a devastatingly irresponsible act? Given that foreign voices were so keen to disparage America for withdrawing from Somalia in 1994, for failing for years to intervene in the Balkans, for having ?allowed? the Taliban to take power in Afghanistan, and for being reluctant recently to send troops to Liberia, why should so many be hostile now to intervention in Iraq?
Exceptionally exceptional
One answer to this final question is that incoherence is one of the luxuries of impotence. Those who cannot, or will not, take responsibility themselves feel free to snipe at those who do. Another is that it is natural to feel afraid when dramatic, ambitious actions are being undertaken, for the consequences of such actions can themselves be dramatic. But a further answer is that to the outside world America is a strangely puzzling country?strangely, given the openness of its society and the abundance of information about it?and at times the puzzlement turns to worry. This is one of those times.
Such times have, however, occurred ever since the country was founded. As our Washington bureau chief writes in his survey this week, ?A nation apart?, the very phrase ?American exceptionalism? that is so often heard these days was first coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835-40, when that brilliant Frenchman wrote his ?Democracy in America?. Many of the things he pointed out then as profound differences between America and other countries continue to be remarked upon today?its vociferous democracy, its decentralisation, its liking for voluntary associations, the intensity of its people's religious belief. Even during the cold war, which critics like now to describe as a time when fear of the Soviet Union acted as a bond between Americans and others, today's sorts of worries were commonplace. Graham Greene's ?The Quiet American? (1955) complained that naive American idealists did more damage than good. Countless films, whether made by Americans or by foreigners, raised worries about a sinister military-industrial complex, about reds-under-the-bed obsessiveness, about zealotry.
Two other things, though, need also to be observed. One is that in recent years it is true that some of America's distinctiveness has become more marked. That is so in economics (working hours, productivity, innovation), society (population growth, religious belief, patriotism) and politics (a win-at-all-costs partisanship). Indeed, the combination of demographic vitality and productivity-led economic vigour is likely to make America even stronger in future, not weaker, despite the fact that high federal budget deficits could force some strength-sapping tax rises (see article). At least in economics, other countries are again going to have to try to follow some of America's example, if their living standards are to be kept high and unemployment low.
Democracy as solution, and as problem
The second observation, though, is that some elements of American distinctiveness divide America just as much as they divide it from others. Religious, puritanical, conservative Americans (mainly Republicans) are ranged against more secular, hedonistic, tolerant ones (mainly Democrats). Until the 2002 mid-term elections, carried out under the shadow of September 11th, successive polls had showed America to be a ?50-50 nation?. Both parties can find trends that could favour them in future: demography could favour Democrats, while economic drive and patriotism may favour Republicans. In America's cacophonous and hyper-active democracy, this means that actions and adventures tend to be self-regulating, at least over a period of years. Yet that offers both reassurance and worry: it may moderate excesses, and curb the influence of lobbies such as the religious right; but it could also encourage cutting and running from messes overseas.
If that were to occur, it would be a disaster for America and a tragedy for the world. The basic dilemma that was faced in Afghanistan and Iraq was that doing nothing and intervening both looked bad and risky options, but that doing nothing looked worse. In the Middle East as in Central Asia, intervention has been painful and progress has been stumbling. But despite the continued instability in both countries, life is better in both than before the intervention occurred; and much, much better than if al-Qaeda's terror camps had been left in place or if Saddam Hussein had been left in power. As the next leader argues, more needs to be done in Afghanistan, and at least some of it is likely to be. In Iraq, however, if the casualty toll among American forces keeps rising it could well prompt influential voices in Washington, including among Republicans, to press Mr Bush to declare victory and retreat.
Fortunately, he is unlikely to. The flip side of some of the things critics dislike about him?a black-and-white view of the world, a tin ear for dissenting views?makes him also show a stubborn determination. Put more favourably, he is a man with a sense of duty. Put more cynically, perhaps, he is a man who will be keenly aware that early withdrawal will look like failure, and such failure would be politically suicidal.
By intervening in Iraq, against the majority of world opinion but with the courage of its own convictions and the support of a few allies, America showed that it was indeed a different nation from others: one prepared to shoulder responsibilities and to do what it thinks is right. Such behaviour is alarming precisely because it is bold and, by today's standards, different. It is never likely to bring forth a cascade of praise or gifts. It was done, however, in a way likely to reinforce the concern, as administration officials poured abuse on their foreign critics and, through their violations of human rights, damaged America's own moral authority. Now, though, the argument has to be won by creating facts on the ground. If the facts are of failure, America will be likely to shrink back into its shell. But success is there to be had. It will take a long, costly and painful effort. Only once it is done, however, will hope be restored and danger dispelled.

Copyright © 2003 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

49 posted on 11/09/2003 9:54:58 AM PST by tpaine (I'm trying to be 'Mr Nice Guy', but wait till next year gun law appeasement effort is sheer BS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Yes, that is a risk.

It is one that I am willing to take rather than see a repeat of the 1960s and 1970s.

To be fair, today we have a free press and we have the ability to counterattack. The same ones who destroyed the wartime administration then were also the ones who filed FCC "Fairness Doctrine" complaints against conservative opinion on radio. That threat is gone for now and we have the Internet. Things have changed for the better but. . . .

50 posted on 11/09/2003 10:32:44 AM PST by WilliamofCarmichael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson