Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Exceptionally Fatuous

The line in the song "Up on the Roof" goes, "you just have to wish to make it so."

Pretty much defines the Syksian perspective when it comes to this concept of American exceptionalism.

Now just about all of us regard the good old US of A as the greatest country on earth, liberals included. We love our country warts and all, but an adult recognizes that if you want to be Miss America, you'd better burn off the warts.

In his continuing efforts to whip up his herd, Charlie Sykes is taking umbrage that President Obama is insufficiently delusional about where we stand in the world. Or as Sykes puts it:
Republicans, including a string of prospective presidential contenders, have taken their objections to President Obama's policies to a provocative and controversial level. Over White House objections, they're accusing him of not embracing the concept of American exceptionalism, saying he is pursuing an agenda on health care, the economy and foreign affairs that is at odds with fundamentals that distinguish the United States.
Sykes thinks he has a winner here. By gum, no president born in Kenya is going to tell us that we lag in health care, or education, or infrastructure. The sad truth however is that we are in fact staring at the behinds of other countries, and usually our rankings come in at around the low 20s when compared to other nations. In that health care issue Sykes talks about, we're number 37.

But we also rank at the low 20s when it comes to taxes. Think there is a correlation? Of course there is. Other countries are investing in ourselves, while here all the deep pockets fritter away their money on financial speculation, not job creation as some assert. As for the rest of us, a lot of our money that is untouched by taxes goes into buying products made overseas. Again, not job generators.

Charlie apparently thinks that being exceptional comes through wishing, or can be had on the cheap. Like W put it, "it's hard work" and it also takes hard cash to measure up to our world wide competition.

Sargent Sykes always whines about how bleeding heart parents and teachers like to hand out trophies in order to bolster the self-esteem of their looser kids who come in second.

Can anyone explain what is the difference here, except for Sykes' continual effort to come up with something, anything, to criticize our President?

For the realists among us, and oddly lately they happen to be liberals, there is a fear that we are in our sunset years as a country. We can reverse this course, but this is a classic case where we have to put up or shut up.

The more that people like Sykes talk the voters out of insisting on the investments needed to make us a leading country in college education, research, infrastructure and other areas, the more we put ourselves farther behind.

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