Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Exceptional Debate by Richard Lowry & Ramesh Ponnuru on National Review / Digital

An Exceptional Debate by Richard Lowry & Ramesh Ponnuru on National Review / Digital


Paul said...

thanks for monkey-wrenching my productivity this afternoon, Steve.

jeff bloodworth said...

I think the authors forget exceptionalism cuts both ways. After all, exceptionalism only means different not necessarily better---that is what Tocqueville meant. In many ways the US is far superior to Western Europe society. I don't feel the need to recount the ways to bigtenters, but we can learn from our European cousins. Are we really satisfied with our crime rates, childhood obesity, or infant mortality rates?

America's swashbuckling capitalism and freedoms are responsible for the ipod, automobiles, and any number of nifty inventions. I celebrate these things--but these freedoms do come at a social cost--higher social inequities, crime, poverty, etc....

The choice is not one between Denmark or America--the choice is a continuum---we make trade-offs--lower taxes, fewer regulations means higher growth, more businesses & jobs but more social inequality. If you tweak tax rates, regulate a bit more--you can achieve more social equality but will have lower economic growth. The point--Noam Chomsky and Zinn are morons. Richard Rorty actually celebrated American nationalism and many liberals do believe America is exceptional--but we realize America can be better and sometimes we can learn from Europe. Reasonable people can disagree but once you make liberals out to "europeanize" the country--you have made us into strawmen. I don't watch MSNBC or listen to Glenn Beck for a reason---they make the political rivals into enemies. My enemy is hiding in Afghanistan/Pakistan---the GOP is the loyal oppostion. Pay us the same respect