United States

What’s So Great About America?: Well, freedom and pretty much everything the Left hates

I recently finished Dinesh D’Souza’s book What’s So Great About America, a book which looks at America past and present and does so with a sense of history and moral clarity which is sorely needed in our day and time. It has become increasingly popular in recent decades for the political left to point to every real and perceived sin committed by America in order to advance the idea that America is no better than any other nation, or worse, that America is actually a force of evil in the world

In doing so, the left intentionally distorts the past, and omits discussion of the tremendous good, often done with great sacrifice in blood and treasure, to advance the cause of liberty throughout the Earth. Written in 2002, What’s So Great About America seems even more relevant today, with the world aflame in chaos and violence, than it was a dozen years ago.

While it is proper to have a discussion of our national sins (slavery comes to mind, first and foremost), it is not just intellectually dishonest, but downright suicidal to breed such contempt for the very nation which, for the first time in history, declared that all men are created equal in the eyes of God and the law, and which declared our rights come not from man, but from God Himself. No longer would we live under the idea of a Divine Right of Kings, but instead would propose that government is the servant of the people, not the master.

Syria May Prove America’s True Character

The situation in Syria has become something of a fascinating study in the distinction between the principles of politics versus the principles of morality; and, strange as it sounds, it may be the thing that reminds Americans who we are as a people and what we will - and will not - accept from humanity living outside our borders.

The seriousness of potential war — especially one tied to images of children dying while foaming at the mouth — has a not-so-funny way of shining a light on just how shallow ideological passion can be. The libertarians and the traditional liberals are adamant that we stay out of the conflict; the more progressive (those who support Obama and generally the anti-war crowd) Democrats and the neoconservative hawks seem to be aligned in thinking that we must defend the red line President Obama drew in the sand. (Although now he’s insisting it wasn’t his red line at all…).

In short, there seems to be no easy partisan divide on whether we act or shutter the windows and wait for the fall out. But if this makes you uncomfortable, David Freddoso has an excellent piece in yesterday’s Conservative Intelligence Briefing on why it shouldn’t:

It would be rather disappointing to see Democrats who typically oppose all wars vote in favor of this one just to save a president’s rear end.  It would be dispiriting to think (as many liberal pundits have suggested) that conservatives are only breaking against this war because Obama is president.

And sure, there’s probably some of that going on here, especially among the public — a great deal of partisanship out there, one might say. But in fact, both characterizations are misleading, especially when it comes to elected officials.

The Domestic Cold War

Joel Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. Previously he worked in Washington, D.C. in public policy for organizations such as the Leadership Institute, the Cato Institute, and the White House Office of Public Liaison. He studied Statesmanship at the undergraduate level and Global Affairs at the postgraduate level.

The battle lines are drawn. The great war between America’s government and her people fast approaches.

No, this isn’t some dystopian near-future science fiction scenario. This is present-day America we’re talking about. There’s a growing hostility between the U.S. government and certain incorrigible freedom-loving citizens, with the live-and-let-lives caught on the side of their more rowdy fellows, despite best efforts to bury their heads in the sand.

But where are all the battles? Where are the troops filling the streets? Where are the tanks rolling across the countryside, steamrolling all dissidents in their path? In waiting, that’s where. This isn’t a traditional armed conflict I’m predicting; at least, not yet. It’s a cold war. Each side is building up its record of hostile actions against the other, all stopping short of the point of no return.

First there’s the war over control of information. The degree to which the U.S government has pursued whistleblowers, leakers, and all those who would enforce transparency is worrisome, almost to the point of making the American people out to be some sort of sworn enemy. Almost. As the Bradley Manning trial showed, they will prudently stop short of making that overt declaration of war.

Liberty – Not Chinese Industrial Policy – Drives Innovation in America

Last week on The Diane Rehm Show, Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology, and innovation policy, claimed that China “makes us look like a backwater when it comes to [broadband] connectivity.” When she was asked how this could be, Ms. Crawford responded:

It happened because of [Chinese industrial] policy. You can call that overregulation. It’s the way we make innovation happen in America.

Ms. Crawford is wrong on the facts and the philosophy.

The Actual Facts

Two months ago, Ms. Crawford’s former employer, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, released a report with these conclusions:

Can you believe in both “American exceptionalism” and limited government?

If there was one theme that was found throughout the Republican convention last week, it was this: America is awesome and everything would be great if only our guys were in power.  Now, this is certainly not a new idea.  It is common for partisans to see their opposition as the source of all our societal ills.  But in the Republicans’ case, this is amplified into the concept of “American exceptionalism,” the idea that America is not only a great nation, but one that is uniquely blessed and, thus, obligated to spread freedom throughout the globe.

Now, this would be one thing if it were just a bunch of overblown nationalism.  Pride in one’s country is perfectly fine, of course, but the concept of American exceptionalism takes that to an even further extreme, arguing that the normal rules don’t apply to the US and we have a special role unique in history.  It is an attitude that causes one to overlook America’s numerous failings and sins, and to excuse actions that, if undertaken by another nation, we could rightly condemn.  It is a worldview that calls anyone who questions it unpatriotic and part of the “blame America first” crowd.

Russian Analyst Predicts Decline and Breakup of the United States

I think the U.S. is headed for some really tough times and for a sharp decline, economically and geopolitically. But I’m not sure I’d go this far.

America Owes No Apologies to Japan

There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” ~ President George Washington, 1793, Fifth Annual Message

It appears that Barack Obama wants to end his time in office in much the same way he began; by touring the world, highlighting and apologizing for America’s supposed sins, and minimizing or ignoring all the good we have done in the world.

He began his first term with an apology tour. On April 3, 2009, in Strasbourg, France, Obama declared “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world…there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Three days later, in a speech to the Turkish Parliament, Obama doubled down, saying that “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history…Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.” These would be just two of many apologies Obama would make for America in the years to come.

This month, Obama becomes the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on it seventy years ago in a bid to bring World War II, the most deadly war in world history, to an end.

Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine Turn Deadly

Halfway across the globe, a political protest known as Euromaidan continues into its twelfth week in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. As an emerging free market, Ukraine is a pivotal trade partner with the US, the EU, and Russia. As of this morning, 25 have been killed, and as the death count rises, the West tunes in.


As a quick review, the public protest began late last November when more than 100,000 Ukrainians filled the streets of Kiev in response to President Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of trade agreements with the European Union in favor of continued bailouts from Russia. As Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute, states:

“It is now apparent that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, had no effective strategy to resist intense pressure against the EU deal from Moscow. The Kremlin promised big cash loans, a gas discount and debt forgiveness, while explicitly threatening to block Ukraine’s access to the Russian market and implicitly threatening to stoke separatism in regions of the country.”

For more on Euromaidan, click here for a more in-depth background, here for a livestream from Kiev, here for a liveblog of events, and here for photos of the riot taken yesterday.

Heritage: U.S. drops out of top 10 in economic freedom

The United States has dropped is no longer in the 10 top freest economies in the world, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, a joint annual study from the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal that offers a look at the economies of 178 countries.

Economic freedom in the United States has declined each year since President Barack Obama took office, from 6th in 2009 to 12th in 2014. The researchers explained that new financial and healthcare regulations have “contributed significantly to the erosion of U.S. economic freedom.”

“Over the 20-year history of the Index, the U.S.’s economic freedom has fluctuated significantly. During the first 10 years, its score rose gradually, and it joined the ranks of the economically ‘free’ in 2006,” note the researchers. “Since then, it has suffered a dramatic decline of almost 6 points, with particularly large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending.”

“The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years,” they added.

Hong Kong has the freest economy in the world, thanks to its fiscal freedom as well as its strong commitment to private property rights, open markets, and free trade. Researchers note that the Chinese protectorate also has a “highly motivated workforce and a high level of labor freedom,” which, they explain, “have added to Hong Kong’s economic dynamism and resilience.”

Have Americans Accepted Perpetual Tyranny?


As I sit before my keyboard today, mulling over the events of recent months and what they portend for America’s future, I find myself fighting a wave of discouragement. The foundation of what is good and great about America is not only being eroded, but is actively under attack.

After a two week long fight in which they were excoriated by Obama, Democrats, and their obedient lapdogs in the press as “hostage-takers,” “legislative arsonists,” and “terrorists” who negotiate “with a bomb strapped to their chests,” Republicans surrendered and agreed to a deal in which they got nothing they asked for, and gave Obama another trillion dollars in borrowing power, unimpeded implementation of Obamacare (including keeping in place an exemption from Obamacare for Obama himself, members of Congress and their staff, and special exemptions for the labor unions which have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats in recent elections).

It makes me weary to think about the suffering this nation faces now because of the decision to hand the reins of power to a man who despises the Constitution, who declared his intent to “fundamentally transform” our beloved America. It makes me wearier still to contemplate the increasing suffering we face with each passing day that we indulge our collective ignorance and apathy.

Do we truly think we can borrow a trillion dollars per year indefinitely? That we can allow a president to paint his political opponents as not just wrong on the issues, but as racist, hateful, and evil, and that it will not lead to levels of animosity that will incite violence? What kind of president declares half the citizens of his country to be evil? How can he possibly think he can make such blatant character assassinations and still be able to unite the people of this country?

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