Reading Glenn Greenwald’s piece in Pete Baker’s previous post will reinforce in the minds of many their negative views of the American political process and the Presidential elections, and that’s even before we start getting personal about US presidents with our own favourite stories about their stupidity and iniquity.
This negative coverage will increase exponentially as the election reaches a climax, it always does, and many will sneer and feel superior little realising USA today, UK tomorrow alright at the next election, indeed Brit analysts are surely embedded already in the respective camps.
But let’s just remind ourselves of why America is worthy of our admiration and gratitude. This list is based on one I copied years ago from a BBC messageboard, beyond that I don’t have a source.
For Americans to be able to elect and not re-elect the most powerful man or woman in the world is quite simply…….. democratic.
- That they have the moral and political strength to impeach Presidents.
- That they can go to war with itself over the issue of slavery.
- That they can hold together as one nation vastly separated peoples, both in distance and culture.
- For the last 50 years to be the sole power strong enough and willing enough to defend the freedoms of the western world.
- To be wise and magnanimous enough to transform Japan and Germany from broken, defeated fascist dictatorships to healthy democracies with powerful economies.
- The American Dream. Through hard work, frugality, and self sacrifice people can achieve financial success and social mobility.
- Their idealism. They helped create the UN, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation.
- Their belongingness. A million people a year take the oath of allegiance by choice.
- Their role as a world policeman protecting shipping lanes.
- Their willingness to accept foreign nationals who move to the USA for higher education, who either remain or return to their home country, taking their skills with them.
I think that’s enough to be going on with but already I hear the first brickbat.
Yes I know I’m self delusional and that America has lots of ills and inequalities, and has committed many foul deeds in the name of democracy and freedom, and is far from perfect. But, and this is a big BUT. America exists. Utopias do not.
Bring on the Presidential election but less of the sneering please.
By the way Langley is watching; contributors may be extradited.
I like a good story.