Tag: America

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A few days ago, I presented a round-up of online commentary with a decidedly anti-American bent, timed to coincide with Independence Day. Perhaps “anti-American” is too strong a word. These were more like rhetorical wet blankets on your Fourth of July fireworks than anything remotely treasonous. More

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Much of the media class (to us a convenient shorthand) doesn’t genuinely love this country—at least not the country as we have known it. They’ll tell us that they love what this country “might become,” or that they love some of the things for which this country supposedly stands. Ultimately, though, they’ll mitigate their pseudo-patriotism with […]

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Back in the 1970s, Charlie Rich was a mainstay on the country music charts. In 1976, the Silver Fox (so nicknamed due to his thick mane of white hair) released his own version of “America the Beautiful.” I find it an especially memorable rendering, particularly because of these opening lines Rich added, also included in […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Fighting Fatalism

 

shutterstock_135889718Like many right-of-center Americans, I fell into a months-long funk when Barack Obama was re-elected. I understood voting for a charismatic cipher in 2008 after years of war, scandal, and a financial collapse. It would have been hard for a Democrat not to win, especially with the cheerleading of newsrooms and popular culture.

But 2012 was a different matter altogether. The voters knew who Obama was. They lived through four years of economic stagnation, failed foreign policy, and the callow dilettante presiding over both. They saw the backroom deals and the trillion wasted on a fictitious stimulus, but the American people didn’t care. They agreed with Mitt Romney on nearly every issue, but Obama made failure look cool. They applauded American decline and signed on for another four years.

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The horrific, racially motivated murder spree by Dylann Roof also served as a call to action for those who see the awful events of Wednesday night as corroboration of their core beliefs about the poisonous nature of American culture. Briefly, two key tenets of modern progressivism are that, one, racism is virtually ubiquitous. Even when […]

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This final post on The Swedish Report was echoed by a few of my Swedish friends, some of whom now live in America. One of those friends served in American Special Forces, so along with his fellow soldiers is particularly grieved by systemic issues corroding the foundations of liberty and prosperity. Insane immigration policies, dishonest financial practices, government-run […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

If I decided to follow in the footsteps of my brothers & go see the almost-chosen people inhabiting America, & then purloin a pack of cigarettes, I am advised, the police would be involved, & given my stiff-neckedness, I would end up visiting the correctional facilities afforded by your great nation–this is after all, not […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. America, Where Is Your Churchill?

 

ChurchillWhat’s the one fact about the political situation in America that we do not emphasize enough — think through enough — try hard enough to confront? I’m sure you have your own views on that, likely better than mine, and I encourage you to publish them. My own view is that there is not one politician playing Churchill.

Do you know the phrase, America will do the right thing once it’s tried everything else? Well, America is trying lots of things and must come to the right thing, but who will do it? Who is the politician who will lead public opinion and possibly the government when necessity will be upon you?

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Value, Quality, and Freedom of Choice

 

Twenty four years ago, the Sizzler restaurant chain came out with a new ad campaign that — thanks to the magic of YouTube — is trending on Facebook now. Watch it. It’s something else.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. One French Soldier’s Opinion of American Troops

 

French military prowess is often mocked, especially by American hawks such as myself. It’s fun to ridicule the “cheese-eating surrender monkey” stereotype, but quite unfair to judge Gallic martial history on their quick collapse in the Second World War. All in all, the Frogs have a decent track record in eliminating baddies.

This stereotype is also a reaction to the knee-jerk disdain the French show for U.S. culture and policy. It’s nothing personal, America; the French hold everyone in contempt.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Basic Chicken-or-Egg Question for Conservatives

 

Let’s forget about the mid-term elections for a minute and consider two fundamental facts: 1) government don’t work good (in the immortal words of Michael Barone); and 2) the modern American (Homo ironicus americanus), with his vintage clothing, white privilege seminars, environmental impact statements, interesting facial hardware, skinny no-whip lattes, shade-grown artisanal quinoa, etc., etc., is not the same creature that invented Coca-Cola, built the Golden Gate Bridge (under budget, ahead of schedule and using only private financing), whupped Hitler and Tojo and invaded the Moon (Homo virilis americanus).

Most reasonable people would agree that there is some relationship between fact 1 and fact 2, beyond mere correlation.

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I thought of this, and I have used it more than once here on Ricochet. It just rings true to me, and the more I think about it, the truer it sounds. I am Jewish, and I have watched with trepidation what is happening all around the world to Jews, and to the State of […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Technology and Super-National Affiliation

 

In a recent essay, Henry Kissinger noted the potential of economic globalization to upset traditional paradigms of nationality and statehood.

The clash between the international economy and the political institutions that ostensibly govern it also weakens the sense of common purpose necessary for world order. The economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation-state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order.

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That was fun, Mark. Now let’s be serious. In just a short few years in the 1970s, a handful of American oil companies invested over 8 billion dollars to construct a pipeline that spanned 800 miles across the mountains and permafrost of Alaska. Men braved winters that reached 60 degrees below zero and welded from […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Staring into the Abyss

 

shutterstock_148716611One of our newer members, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, made a splash with “A Love Letter from a Swedish Conservative.” Despite all the doom, gloom, and raining I’m about to do, I’m very glad for that essay. I’m also glad that Rob, Peter, and James still have the time to drop in on new members’ posts and say welcome. Someone should be optimistic and happy and in love with the United States. I regret that I am not among them.

My inability to put my distress in words accounts for why I haven’t created a serious post in months. I still can’t put it in words, but I’ll try to be less scattered than in the past. It started with one of the podcasts quoting Norman Podhoretz’s My Love Affair with America. I don’t remember anything else about the podcast, but as I mulled it, I realized I don’t have any particular fondness for this country. Not anymore. I don’t have any particular fondness for any other country, either. I couldn’t put my finger on why, though.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. What’s Still Great About America?

 

shutterstock_157520087As I take in the ever-expanding mosh pit of our politics and culture, I cannot help but come away frustrated, angry, and depressed about … well, everything. It is so easy to latch on to the things I don’t like, to fear the trends that seem so perilous to our future, to lament the rise of self-indulgent dependency, and to despise those so eager and willing to tread upon the rights and freedoms of others. You read the headlines, you consider the “values” we export, and you simply have to wonder whether we’ve squandered away our blessing, our greatness as a nation.

Our leaders, when they talk about America, just don’t seem to have much conviction in their words. Maybe that’s just my jaded ears. How sad is it that you have to go all the way back to Reagan’s speeches (thank heavens for YouTube) to reawaken that sense of belief, that sense of pride in our country and what it represented? I use the past tense intentionally, because I’m laboring to answer the question that follows.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

When the astronauts made their moon shot, they were allowed a very small weight for personal items. Amongst those items they brought along a tape recorder. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, they commemorated the occasion with a song. Which one? Fly me to the Moon. There’s something uniquely American in that; the sheer […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. How Do We Feel about Incarceration?

 

shutterstock_174659255I’m uneasy about incarceration and believe it raises some serious ethical concerns. As I understand it, we imprison a larger percentage of our population than any other country in the world, and probably any other society in history. I think of them as “the other 1%” because it’s close to 1% of our total population. It seems we should seriously consider why it is so necessary that we lock up such an enormous number of people.

For starters, I know some prosecutors and they seem like fair-minded, conscientious people. They do their jobs. My concerns mostly aren’t on that level, though it does seem that mandatory sentencing and three-strike laws have put some not-very-dangerous people away for some serious time. I have no strong feelings on whether prison is too harsh of a punishment or not harsh enough; it probably depends. One unhappy feature is the fact that forcible removal from your life will always be a much more severe blow to people who already have a life. People who have a lot to lose (jobs, families, homes) will feel it pretty cruelly. People whose lives were already utterly empty and miserable may even welcome the prospect of at least getting three squares a day. In general, incarceration will be a much harsher punishment for generally-good people than for generally-bad ones. That’s definitely non-ideal.

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Reagan’s favorite President, Calvin Coolidge, once gave a speech which had one of his most famous quotes, often misquoted as, “The business of America is business.” The actual line was, “After all, the chief business of the American people is business.” He was making the point that a press could be both purveyor of information […]

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