October 15, 2004

hoo boy... right on!

The concluding paragraph from Tony Judt's Dreams of Empire ( NYRB 4 Nov 2004):

With our growing income inequities and child poverty; our underperforming schools and disgracefully inadequate health services; our mendacious politicians and crude, partisan media; our suspect voting machines and our gerrymandered congressional districts; our bellicose religiosity and our cult of guns and executions; our cavalier unconcern for institutions, treaties, and laws—our own and other people's: we should not be surprised that America has ceased to be an example to the world. The real tragedy is that we are no longer an example to ourselves. America's born-again president insists that we are engaged in the war of Good against Evil, that American values "are right and true for every person in every society." Perhaps. But the time has come to set aside the Book of Revelation and recall the admonition of the Gospels: For what shall it profit a country if it gain the whole world but lose its own soul?

Posted by oook at October 15, 2004 06:55 AM

The astonishing thing to someone from "outside" (NS, Canada) is that there is any real division within the US at all. The astonishing inability of many Americans to comprehend the huge gap between what is said and what is done, both domestically and internationally, is difficult to fathom.

The vitriol, devoid of truth or fact (in some cases clear lies), in the presidential campaign is truely frightening. It's frightening primarily because the consequences are not confined to the US, but will reverberate globally and decrease both security and quality of life for all of us - rich or poor, developed or underdeveloped, nations or individuals.

Phil Ochs song from the late 60's "We are the Cops of the World" has taken on new dimensions.

Posted by: Ron Brunton at October 31, 2004 07:53 AM