Yes, it is more political than arty. And it's not even an election year!I would disagree with you on probably nearly everything, but would love to hear your comments on this editorial:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-6-2020738-6,00.html
I think the writer has W. pegged but I dissagree that America is more prosperous and self confident.I would say that the slight majority that support Bush do so because they are afraid. Bush plays the 9-11 card at every opportunity he preys on our fears and insecurities and that's when he's telling us what he's doing.W.'s other big plan to keep the economy going is to permanently install tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich while cutting social programs for the needy. All the while claiming to be a devout Christian.(see #8 on the list of characteristics of Facsism)Ford just announced that it will be closing more plants and laying off 30,000 employees. The majority live paycheck to paycheck just a serious illness away from financial ruin. The amount the average American is able to save hasn't been this low since the year after the Great Depression.No. I wouldn't say prosperous or self confident at all.Now, why exactly do you disagree?
Kim- I also resent the writer claiming that Americans don't expect much from their government. On the contrary I believe most expect their government to do its best to uphold the principles on which the country was founded. I know I do---that's why I'm so severely disappointed in the current crop of corporate fiends we have running things.As to arts, sciences and academia flourishing---there is some of that under any restrictive, backwards government. The works of the German Expressionists were created as a response to WWI. Picasso's created a whole suite of etchings in response to Franco.But at the moment our arts institutions continue to be strangled. Science takes a beating---No funding for stem cell research, creationism in our schools etc. Schools that receive federal aid are forced to allow the military to recruit on campus and high schools are required to turn over lists of those graduating so recruiters can pay a friendly call. If our art scene does dominate I'm not so sure it's a good thing---we peddle slick fashionista art produced by flavor of the month artists just out of grad school. The idea of an art career being a marathon not a sprint falls on deaf ears in Chelsea---and the aesthetic is eagerly lapped up elsewhere like a McDonalds shake.
I would probably stand more in the Libertarian camp than the Conservative one. I feel that the strength in America is in its individuals and not at all in it's government. Bear in mind that the author of that article is a Brit and sees us from a European point of view where governments take a much more active role. I am a governmental minimalist, basically feeling that I am best qualified to make decisions regarding myself, my family, my community and most importantly, my money. If I wish to fund the arts, help the poor or buy a boat, it is my prerogative. I do not say this from the point of view of a wealthy person. I have been in situations where I have desperately needed help and been unable to help myself. I found that assistance from organizations and persons who became familiar with my situation was much more appropriate and helpful than anything the government could do for me. We should never look to a federal government to solve our problems. It should represent us in world affairs and only address those issues which cannot possibly be handled by private citizens or a more local form of government. As for finances, in a world sense, America continues to be the leader in wealth and sets the tone for economies everywhere. The problem with paycheck to paycheck people is not that they do not make enough money; it is that they spend too much. Everyone does not need an SUV, a 3000 square foot home, vacations in a timeshare or to send their kids to soccer camp. Somehow we feel entitled to the "good life" whether we can afford it or not. Making good personal decisions regarding money should be the responsibility of the person earning it, not some bureaucrat in a government office. I should not be held responsible for someone else’s poor choices.For the perceived problems, America is still the only country I know of where people are literally dying to get in. Freedom to succeed and not be penalized, to decide for yourself what you will apply yourself to and to choose how to spend your own money are some of the reasons they come.
I basically view libertarians as non compassionate. And I think this is illustrated best by your comment..."The problem with paycheck to paycheck people is not that they do not make enough money; it is that they spend too much."...I wasn't talking about people in suberbia with suv's etc. I spoke of the many in urban centers and rural areas who live in deplorable conditions and who have no opportunities for education, etc. to make their lives better. The idea that "I did it so they should be able to too" is not a compassionate one and does not take into account the millions of different situations that exist for different people. Also it would be great if we could count on our neighbors or corporations to do the right thing and help their fellow man but unfortunately we can't. If we waited we would still have segregation in the south! When we live in a society, use it's roads,make our living there etc, we enter into a social contract.Also we seem to have strayed from the original content of my entry...which was the current situation and its similarities to fascism.Finally I've made a decision to no longer publish comments that are anonymous. If I'm stating my views with a name attached other posters should to.
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