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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

e•lec•tion [i-LEK-shun]—noun. A political enema.

I always feel particularly patriotic on Election Day; considerably more than I do on Independence Day, no doubt.

(I’m sure this is affected by my being born outside the U.S., having only earned a vote after my parents waited in countless long lines for well over a decade.)

So I thought I’d channel my inner patriot by sharing this quote from Noah Webster who, back in 1781, beat the British twice—once on the battlefield and once in the library (his dictionary single-handedly spawned American English).

In the nascent years of the Union, Webster explained what he saw as the enlightened American mindset:
America sees the absurdities—she sees the kingdoms of Europe, disturbed by wrangling sectaries, or their commerce, population and improvements of every kind cramped and retarded, because the human mind like the body is fettered and bound fast by the chords of policy and superstition.

America laughs at their folly and shuns their errors. She founds her empire upon the idea of universal toleration. She admits all religions into her bosom. She secures the sacred rights of every individual. And (astonishing absurdity to Europeans!) she sees a thousand discordant opinions living in the strictest harmony.

It will finally raise her to a pitch of greatness and lustre, before which the glory of ancient Greece and Rome shall dwindle to a point, and the splendor of modern Empires fade into obscurity.
The verdict is in: democracy rocks. So go vote already.


Anonymous P. Pirx said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the world of optimistic quotes, on this day when we are asked to choose between what the media would have us believe to be the lesser of two evils, I enjoy this quote-

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always."

Anonymous Jerk Off Rob said...

For some reason, I fail to see the optimism in likening our democratically elected leaders to “tyrants and murderers” even if they are on the way out. And it would seem that even the equities market (perhaps the most democratic of all American economic institutions) agrees with the “lesser of two evils” philosophy. Here’s a quote from Charles Gabriel, senior analyst for Prudential Securities, on the market’s view of a split Congress: “Gridlock is good, Wall Street doesn't like change … You're not going to have runaway spending increases, you won't have a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, and there's no legislative change that will roil industries. The green light is on for equity investments because you've got protection against any major changes.” In other words, the market believes that neither political party can be trusted to wield power in a manner that benefits the country’s economy as a whole, and it has responded to the likelihood of a split (and therefore, unproductive) Congress by rallying this week.

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Jeff Goldstein is a wanker.