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Tue Nov 6, 2012, 08:57 AM

Divided States of America: Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation


from Der Spiegel:


The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. On this election eve, many Americans are losing faith in their country's future.

The monumental National Mall in Washington, DC, 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) long and around 1,586 feet wide at its broadest point, is a place that showcases the United States of America is in its full glory as a world power. A walk along the magnificent swath of green space, between the white dome of the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial, a temple erected to honor former president Abraham Lincoln, at its western end, leads past men in bronze and stone, memorials for soldiers and conquerors, and the nearby White House. It's a walk that still creates an imperial impression today.

The Mall is lined with museums and landscaped gardens, in which America is on display as the kind of civil empire that promotes the arts and sciences. There are historic sites, and there are the famous steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King once spoke of his dream, and of the dreams of a country to be a historic force, one that would serve the wellbeing of all of mankind. Put differently, the National Mall is an open-air museum for an America that, in 2012, is mostly a pleasant memory.

After a brilliant century and a terrible decade, the United States, in this important election year, has reached a point in its history when the obvious can no longer be denied: The reality of life in America so greatly contradicts the claim -- albeit one that has always been exaggerated -- to be the "greatest nation on earth," that even the most ardent patriots must be overcome with doubt. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/divided-states-of-america-notes-on-the-decline-of-a-great-nation-a-865295.html



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Reply Divided States of America: Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
melody Nov 2012 #1
AndyTiedye Nov 2012 #2
melody Nov 2012 #5
cbrer Nov 2012 #4
melody Nov 2012 #6
cbrer Nov 2012 #7
awoke_in_2003 Nov 2012 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:09 AM

1. Wait, wait, wait -- now we're a model? I thought we were all capitalist pigs two weeks ago

I wish Der Spiegel would make up its mind.

Personally, I think they just want to hate on the US. As a liberal Democrat, I'm far, far beyond tired of my country and countrypeople being insulted from abroad. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

We don't have to model for ANYONE. Other countries need to find their own way. We went without health care and any but the most minimal societal support systems in the guise of "saving nations" who could afford to give their citizens everything we never could. Americans have to do what's right for OUR people, not for multinational companies.

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Response to melody (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 11:24 AM

2. If the Shoe Fits...

I couldn't really find anything in the article that was not accurate.

One hopes that Der Spiegel will also examine the policies of their own government as critically.
The weaker economies in the Eurozone are suffering from some of the same problems lately, in no small part due to austerity being forced on them by the stronger ones, especially Germany.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 05:37 PM

5. Whether or not the shoe fits is in the eye of the beholder -- which was my point

They need to be their own role model. We need to care for our people.

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Response to melody (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 03:52 PM

4. The thing is...

 

Is that we were on track, through much of the 20th century, to satisfy both sets of criteria. Doing what's right for our people, AND setting an example for success to the rest of the world. And then we loosed the greed and short sightedness to which the article alluded.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 05:44 PM

6. We don't know the "right' way to be" - neither does Europe

We know our way to be, that's it. We have to stop ordering people around to live by the dictates of our own beliefs.

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Response to melody (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 06:36 PM

7. We don't need to know the "right" way

 

As if such a thing existed... There is no single set called "our beliefs".

Only honest open experimentation will discover a workable solution for a prosperous free society to emerge.

And for the most part, we don't order people to live our way (whatever that is). We either bribe them, or show them how they too can develop an elite sub class to the detriment of citizens, environments, peace, debt loads...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 02:09 PM

3. Marking for later. nt

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