Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

America

This is a two part question, but I wanted some input on the first part to form my thoughts a bit. Do any of you believe America is the greatest country on Earth? And if you do, what made America great? Not, what makes America great, but how did America become the greatest country on Earth? This country is a little more than 225 years old. The US is a much newer country than England, France, Spain, Russia, or Portugal. Japan was an empire long before the US came into existence. China had ruling dynasties millennium before 1776. Egypt built the pyramids, Rome built the Colosseum, and the Greeks built the Parthenon centuries before there was an America.
So how did America become the most powerful and greatest country on Earth when so much of the world has such a head start?

14 Comments:

Blogger The Local Crank said...

America became great by combining the Enlightment ideals of secularism, the rule of law, meritocracy and anti-authoritarianism with the Native American culture of democracy, individual liberty and government by consensus to create something unique in the history of the world: a stable democratic republic. Everything that America has achieved since then, in terms of economic and military power, flows from the free marketplace of ideas made possible only in a nation of laws. The path has not been smooth or straight, of course; America was also founded on a shabby moral compromise on slavery that it nearly paid for with "death by suicide" and on the white supremacist notion of Manifest Destiny (theft and genocide in the name of God), but on the whole the positives outweigh the negatives and the ideal of America has become so ingrained in world culture that even the most brutal dictators insist on cloaking themselves in the trappings of democracy (calling their countries "republics" or "people's republics," holding "free" elections, etc.). In one nation, this nation, we see all of the best and some of the worst of human nature. America is at once the hope for the future and a cautionary tale. Not a bad result for a rather rag-tag gang of quarrelsome rebels taking on the most powerful nation on Earth.

Wed Nov 01, 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Rogue Mariner said...

Well said Crank. Damn you're smooth.

Thu Nov 02, 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger The Local Crank said...

"Damn you're smooth."

It's a lawyer thang.

Thu Nov 02, 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Vulgorilla said...

"... made possible only in a nation of laws."

Most of what you said is close to the truth, but "a nation of laws"? ... not any more ... Maybe 75 years ago, but no longer. There are the laws that you and I have to abide by, and then there are the laws that the Ted Kennedys and Bill Clintons of this country abide by ... and they're not even close to being the same. The whole foundation of our legal system, the Constitution, has been interpreted right out of existence. God only know what the basis of our laws are anymore.

Fri Nov 03, 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger The Local Crank said...

"and then there are the laws that the Ted Kennedys and Bill Clintons of this country abide by ..."

Wow! And here I missed all of Ted Kennedy's signing statements...

Sat Nov 04, 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

That's funny. It always comes back to ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

What's especially funny is how, if you start talking about how King George got us into Iraq, we get told not to "dwell on the past." We're told to deal with the "now."

But then you guys always find a way to blame Clinton.

Here's a head's up: George W. Bush has been in office for quite a while now. His administration will go down as the most corrupt in history. His lies, his deceptions, his violation of law and of ethics and of the rules of basic human decency have ruined us. He and his people have crapped all over the Constitution in the process of dragging the country down with them.

The greatest country on earth? We can be, and maybe we will be. Someday. Not happening right now, though. And not anytime soon.

Sat Nov 04, 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

QD, you sort of made a point contrary to mine. As a nation of lists, if you don’t think the US is the greatest country on Earth, then I would like to hear which country is better. I am not making the “love it or leave it argument,” but I really didn’t think there was much of a debate over the US’s worldwide supremacy on the greatest country on earth. To use a simple statistic, more people come to the US every year to become citizens than every other country on the planet combined. So we must be doing something right or they would be going somewhere else. Where else did you have in mind?

Tue Nov 07, 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

I don't really care which is the "greatest" country on Earth. I really believe that discussion gets us nowhere fast. We just end up in a spitting contest. If I don't agree with you, I'm a traitor. If you don't agree with me, you're a raving nationalist (not in a good way, either).

How about this: What's "great" about us that we can use to make us better than we are?

Fri Nov 10, 10:50:00 PM  
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