American Exceptionalism

U.S.A, U.S.A., U.S.A

Trump can't take away America's greatness

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Ever since President Trump sauntered into the White House, America's image—or "brand," in marketing parlance—has taken a beating. This month, a Nation Brand Index poll of public opinion in 50 countries found that the "Trump effect" had caused America's reputation to drop from first to sixth place

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in world rankings on a whole host of metrics, such as its attractiveness as a tourist, business, and work destination. This is in keeping with the March U.S. News & World Report "best country" rankings, based on a poll of business leaders and other "informed elites" around the world, in which the U.S. fell several notches.

But fear not. America will overcome this loss of respect. American greatness doesn't stem from its politics or its political leaders so they can't tarnish it much either, not even Trump. What has made America great is that it has set the standards of excellence in literally every human endeavor for the last 150 years.

While immodest, it is not an overstatement to suggest that when it comes to the sciences, arts, technology, and business, America dominates the world. And it does so not by imposing its will on others, but by excelling so much that it forces other countries to compete on a higher plane. Quite simply, America has made the world a better place to live.

America pioneered nearly every transformational technology of the industrial age, beginning with Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera, and followed by Henry Ford's mass production of automobiles. America was the first to land a man on the moon. But what changed the way people live—besides TV dinners, Tupperware, and hairspray!—even more were America's immense strides in artificial satellites. This technology set the stage for the telecommunications revolution that gave us global positioning satellite systems in our pockets, among so many other modern wonders.

America invented the transistor, which fueled the miniaturization of electronics. We created the internet—sparking the IT revolution that transformed life in the 21st century more fundamentally than the Industrial Revolution did a century ago. Google and Yahoo, Amazon and Microsoft, YouTube and Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—they were all created in America.

Likewise, in medicine America has led the way. Britain's Alexander Fleming may have discovered penicillin. But America's advances in diagnostic medicine—MRIs and PET scans—and pharmaceuticals have vastly improved the quantity and quality of human life. Nor is America yet done. Our nation is the hub of stem cell and other gene-based research that might eventually eliminate disease, reverse aging, and make humans all but immortal.

America isn't just the leader in applied science, but also pure sciences—which is surprising given that American adults' numeracy skills are below average compared to other OECD countries. The United States has won more Nobels for physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine, and economics that any country since World War II—and by a wide margin. By 2015, America had 256 Nobels under its belt, compared to the United Kingdom's second place 93. Interestingly, about one-third of all U.S. Nobels are won by the foreign-born, showing just how attractive a destination America is for the world's top minds. That's because the best and the most cutting-edge work in many fields is done in America, offering great minds maximum scope for making their mark—which helps America maintain its edge despite its relatively sub-standard K-12 system.

And what's true of the sciences is also true of the arts.

Major U.S. cities have museums that rival those of European capitals. Ditto for symphony orchestras, with four U.S. cities ranking in the top 20 worldwide. Broadway's extravagant theatrical productions are simply unrivaled. New York, alongside London, has knocked off Paris and Milan as the fashion capital of the world.

American architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Gordon Bunshaft, who have won their share of Pritzkers, the profession's equivalent of the Nobel, have radically changed the world's architectural landscape. The classical, Gothic, and Renaissance styles of Europe were nurtured in societies where the major patrons were the aristocracy, church or state. Their primary purpose wasn't utility but boosting the stature of their benefactors or magnifying their message and mission. This meant building grand monuments that elevated form over function. Not so in America. Driven by market demand and actual human need, American architects subordinated form to function and completely changed the aesthetic paradigm of buildings from grandiose and fussy to simple and clean, whether Wright's prairie homes or Bunshaft's industrial skyscrapers.

But the art form that America truly owns is movies. Their cultural impact on the world is beyond compare — or measure. Hollywood has revolutionized how mankind produces and consumes entertainment. We make almost all of the biggest and best blockbusters. Nine of the top 10 grossing movies of all time are American. Meanwhile, American TV programs are ubiquitous. Urbanites in every country watch Friends and Seinfeld.

Hollywood's dominance is no doubt aided by the fact that English has become the lingua franca of the world. But there are other English-speaking nations in the world, and yet only Hollywood has managed to make such inroads beyond its own border. Why is that? Because Hollywood has figured out a way to make movies with universal themes and high production values that appeal to a broad swath of humanity. It has taken the art and craft of filmmaking to new heights, which is why the Oscar is the most coveted award for filmmakers everywhere. When Audrey Hepburn presented Satyajit Ray, one of India's—indeed the world's—finest film-makers the lifetime achievement Oscar just before he died in 1992, he noted in his poignant acceptance speech via a video link from his hospital bed that the award was the "best achievement of his movie-making career." Since he was little, he said, he had loved American cinema not just for how it entertained, but for what it taught aspiring artists like him. "I have learned everything about the craft of cinema from the making of American films," he acknowledged.

American music's influence is likewise unparalleled in human history. Like Hollywood movies, American music has a global listening audience. Nine of the 15 bestselling musical artists of all time are American. But such billboard rankings don't capture the full impact of American music. American genres such as ragtime, blues, jazz, folk, country Western, R&B, rock and roll, hip hop, and rap have been incorporated and "appropriated" by musicians across the world. This is all the more remarkable given that, unlike movies, all cultures have strong, deep-rooted local music traditions that don't yield easily to outside influences.

But all of this is dwarfed by America's economic footprint on the world. This country is quite literally the economic engine of the Earth. Seven of the largest 10 — and 53 of the largest 100 — companies are American. Indeed, America has about 4.5 percent of the world's population but generates almost 25 percent of the global GDP. In addition, access to America's large and rich domestic market keeps many foreign industries afloat.

There is a qualitative difference between the character of America's influence and that of previous empires. European colonial powers tried to become "great" through conquest and occupation. America did so by the sheer attractiveness of its offerings. America is not so much a superpower as a grand force in the world. However, because its military prowess led the West to civilization-saving victories in World War I and World War II, the world started viewing America as a superpower and, worse, America started viewing itself as one.

But the fact is that this country's hard power—and its embrace of its role as the policeman of the world—has been more of a liability than strength. This is not to deny that America's military strength has done some good, but, on balance, it's been more of a liability than an asset. Indeed, almost every intervention America has undertaken after the two great wars has backfired, most notably in Vietnam. Nor did it redeem itself with its post-9/11 military action in Afghanistan and Iraq—not to mention Libya.

If any other country had made so many missteps, its stature would have been irremediably lost. But that's not the case with America because of the sheer awe its cultural soft power rightly inspires. By the same token, if America had only this power and none of its massive military arsenal, the Trump presidency would have mattered not a whit to the world. Everyone could have safely ignored him, or at least laughed him off, just like they do a crazy and thuggish tyrant like Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, and the focus would have remained on everything else that America does.

The American brand's reputation has been generated through vast, far-reaching, and all-encompassing contributions to the advancement of humanity. And it is profoundly at odds with Trump's empty braggadocio. Even though America is stuck with Trump as its face for now, there is every reason to believe that it'll regain its former glory once he passes from the scene. The unseemly antics of an impetuous man, even one so visible and powerful, can't make America small forever, after all.

This column was originally published in The Week

NEXT: Brickbat: There's a New Marshal in Town

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  1. Is it possible for Shikha to write an article that doesn’t have something about “Trump can’t take this away from America” in the title?

    1. Fuck Trump

    2. Fuck Trump

    3. Fuck Trump

    4. Fuck Trump

    5. Fuck Trump

    6. Fuck Trump

    7. Fuck Trump

    8. Fuck Trump

    9. Fuck Trump

    10. Fuck Trump

    11. Fuck Trump

      1. Tell your mom’s car to get off of the keyboard. It keeps hitting copy, paste, enter.

    12. Fuck Trump

      1. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with his performance as President.

        1. I’ve been impressed with the screams of outrage from mohammedan berserkers, national socialist gun grabbers, petty bureaucrats, Periplaneta americana, lampreys, remoras, roundworms, ticks, fleas, hookworms, communists, leeches, econazis and social science warmunists. I vote libertarian, and the background shrieking and gnashing of teeth makes me all the more smug about the way I vote.

      2. I’ve been proud to report every one of those as spam.

        1. Ditto.

    13. Probably not.

      “…drop from first to sixth place in world rankings on a whole host of metrics, such as its attractiveness as a tourist, business, and work destination.”

      Tourism is one thing – but if the criminal aliens no longer see it as a good “work destination”, if the number of H-1Bs dries up – I’d celebrate! Good for Trump!

      I didn’t vote for Trump. (Gawd no, I didn’t vote for Hitlery either!) But if you set aside the breathless criticisms of the lamestream media (including Shikha) and actually look at what Trump has done, the worst of it is probably that he hasn’t executed his agenda fast enough. I had hoped that by now prosecutions of “Sanctuary City” city councils under 8 USC ?1324 would be in full swing, that the military would have been stationed on the border to shoot invaders, and that all H-1B visa renewals would have been denied – permanently. But credit where it’s due. Arrests of criminal invaders at the border are at a 40+ year low (because who wants to spend money on a coyote and just get shipped home?) while arrests of criminal aliens within the US is at a high and H-1Bs are having to re-justify their presence (which is a tiny step – but still, a step).

      And I like the way Trump causes libtards to wheeze, and clutch their chests and wobble on their feet.

      If the election were held tomorrow, I’d change my vote. I’d vote for Trump. (He still only gets a “C”, but that’s a better grade than any president in the past 25 years.)

      1. Having stronger artificial government limitations on where people can live and work is a good thing? There’s nothing praiseworthy about having a chilling effect on immigration.

        And no attempt at applying a statute is gonna override the U.S. Constitution, so any attempt to prosecute sanctuary cities is doomed.

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  2. Sorry, comrade, for all his faults, I’d rather have Trump as president rather that the evil gun grabbing socialist war monger and class A bitch Hillary Clinton.

    1. I’d rather have gayjay than either of them, but yes, Trump is night and day better than hilldog.

      1. Until 2:1 I would have agreed with you, but – despite his significant policy drawbacks (walls, Sessions, protectionism) – it’s gotten better than Cakeman would ever had had the nerve to make it, faster than he would have ever had the balls to do it.

      2. Hey! Who let the libertarian in? Gary Johnson’s spoiler votes alone have been repealing bad laws for five years now. The LP legalized abortion with one electoral vote. That vote motivated Roe v. Wade and opened the door to complete and permanent repeal of all Canadian abortion laws.

        1. Roe V. Wade is unconstitutional, no matter what one’s opinion is in abortion. Although we all know Hank is a big booster for insitutinalized, state funded, mass infanticide. Probably because he is an anti religion bigot.

    2. Clinton’s supporters are floating a new excuse, all the sexual predators in the media were unfairly questioning her aboutisdues like theemail setver because they did not respect her as a woman.

      1. Why would anybody respect Hillary “as a woman”? She has no grace, no sense of style, and she prostituted herself for her political career. I respect her “as a woman” even less than as a politician or intellectual.

        1. The person saying this is still pushing that she was “the most experienced Presidential candidate ever” line too. It is delusional.

          1. So, we were to believe that someone who handles highly classified information with “extreme carelessness” (really gross negligence) is eminenently qualified to be President?

      2. “aboutisdues like theemail setver?”

        You made my brain covfefe.

    3. Trump is a misogynistic, xenophobic, conspiratorial fuckwad. I would rather have had the natural law party candidate in the white house than the current piece of shit occupying it.

      1. Hey buttfucker, maybe you should call up fellow rump rangers Barney Frank and Lindsay Graham – I’m sure they would be more than willing to show you a good time. Maybe even a threesome!

      2. Stop it… you’re killing me! Tony’ll be here any second to brawl with God’s Own Prohibitionists. Pass the popcorn…

        1. Hey Hank, are you going to follow up your GOP dig, with some irrelevant reference to policy in 1932? Maybe attack christians? Or another GOP dig with scatalogical themes?

          I mean, that is pretty much your arsenal of gibber, isn’t it? Or is it almost lights out at whatever mental institution you inhabit?

    4. Then you’re a fucking retard.

      1. Then you’re fucking a retard.

      2. Tony, why are you still around? You were scheduled formsuicide weeks ago. Now go drink your Drano, you stupid bitch.

  3. Damn. I don’t know where to start. I guess that I’ll wait for other comments, except that as an expat, I am alternately proud (only the USA could have produced Fight Club) and embarrassed (Trump/Hillary OMG).

    1. I am Hillary’s seizing brain.

      1. I am Trump’s unblemished liver.

        1. I am GayJay’s complete lack of geopolitical knowledge.

    2. I’ll take Trumo any day over the slew of shitbags leading any of the EU countries. Granted, that isn’t setting the bar very high.

  4. American greatness doesn’t stem from its politics or its political leaders…

    It comes from not really caring what the other nations think of it.

    1. Hoorah & hell yeah!

  5. It really doesn’t matter that America’s politics nor political leaders built America’s greatness.
    You don’t have to be a builder to destroy, as Washington and the various city and state governments demonstrate daily.
    So the initial premise is simply insane — it is not the case that only the builders of a thing can destroy or remove it.

    You’d think someone writing for a libertarian magazine would know that.

  6. And it does so not by imposing its will on others.

    Except those 80 foreign elections (that we know of so far) that the CIA has interfered with, or outright fixed (assasinated the candidate we didn’t like) from 1946-2000. Otherwise, yeah, we totally don’t impose our will on others.

    1. Well maybe they should put up better candidates then.

  7. Another retread article?

    1. Otherwise known as history.

  8. What’s made America great is immigration. A large part of our population is or is descended from people who took a look around at where they were and said, “Fuck this shit, I’m outta here”, packed their bags and moved to America. It takes a good bit of bravery, a taste for adventure, a risk-taking nature to do that. The scaredy-cats afraid to take a risk stayed put where they were, we got the gamblers. Yeah, that means we got a lot of the poor raggedy-ass lowlifes who had nothing to lose and had a healthy disregard for the rules of civilized behavior, but what’s more libertarian than not giving a shit what other people think of your behavior and pushing back against enforced conformity to the rules?

    1. It doesn’t take a lot of bravery to leave everything behind when you come to a social welfare state where even not working gives you 10x as much in government largesse than you could earn working 80h per week in the hellhole you grew up in.

      Immigration is great… When combined with small government and a requirement for self sufficiency and self reliance

      1. Totally agree Mark.

        1. The obvious solution is to stop exporting prohibitionist sumptuary laws and meddling in their elections… Oh, and maybe quit bombing them.

    2. I so much prefer immigrants who are hungry and ready to work than little whiny bitch native-born citizens who can’t be bothered to consider their immense privilege as Americans and who sneer with chocomochalatte contempt at the immeasurable opportunities and liberties they take for granted.

      1. Yes. Legal immigrants made and continue to make America great. They work extremely hard, are entrepreneurial and innovate. They open new businesses at nearly twice the rate of the U.S. born.

      2. What “immeasurable opportunities and liberties”? American ranks #20 in economic freedom. Civil liberty followed. They both depend on public support, public sentiment, public understanding of rights. None of which will be taught in public school. Public (govt.) ed is brainwashing to create docile obedient servants to the state. It has been around for about 150 years and slowly eroded the American moral fiber. Cops can murder unarmed civilians in cold blood (any excuse will do) and juries acquit. Politicians do the reverse of their promises and get reelected. Bureaucrats violate rights, run our everyday lives, our businesses, and that is accepted.

        Does self-respect trump rule? Not for most in America. That is seen in the movies where the people like to fantasize they are living in “the land of the brave and home of the free” and at sporting events.

        1. The best part of 1st world privilege is being oblivious to it.

    3. “The hell’s the matter with you? Stupid! We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt.”

  9. Even though America is stuck with Trump as its face for now, there is every reason to believe that it’ll regain its former glory once he passes from the scene.

    You can’t be serious.

    1. But elites are looking down their nose at us!

  10. We really shouldn’t focus so closely on what Trump says and tweets rather than what he does.

    I’ll look forward to seeing Shikha Dalmia account for Trump’s actual deportation numbers.

    “The number of deportations fell below even the lowest level recorded during the Obama administration, the government said Tuesday . . . . In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 226,119 people from the country, including individuals just caught crossing the border and those living in the country. That was down 6% from fiscal year 2016, when 240,255 people were removed, and well below the record year of removals during the Obama administration, in 2012, when nearly 410,000 deportations were tallied.”

    . . .

    “Overall, the administration said that 92% of people administratively arrested during the Trump months had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, were ICE fugitives, or had illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation.”

    —-Wall Street Journal

    https://tinyurl.com/yctdeuy4

    The article concludes with the observation that Trump is expected to face criticism from the anti-immigration lobby because his deportation numbers are so much lower than Obama’s.

    Suffice it to say, Obama wasn’t a saint on immigration because he said all the right things on camera, and Trump isn’t a demon on immigration because of his “braggadocio”.

    1. I wish Reason had an upvote button.

    2. Good point. But I wonder how much of that decrease was a reaction to seeing what the Arizona Gestapo does to actual unarmed, non-criminal Americans crawling in abject surrender.

  11. Trump’s cheap America First braggadocio has tarnished America’s brand.

    Oh god f— me… OK I’ll dive in now.

    1. OK not as bad as expected from the click-baity intro.

  12. The world is largely populated by government indoctrinated proto fascist statists. I actually worry when the US comes out on top in polls of those kind of people. A libertarian country is not necessarily one that those other countries will like.

    Oh, and Shika, the US will survive your “unseemly and impetuous antics”, because unlike Trump, you simply don’t matter at all.

    1. All you have to do is look at who came out ahead in the poll to show where America really stands. (snicker)
      Did they count “refugees” as tourists?

  13. “America invented the transistor, which fueled the miniaturization of electronics.”

    Shockley invented the transistor, a good eugenicist and scientific racist in the progressive tradition. Way to go lauding him, Shikha! /sarc

  14. Someone should do a study of Dalmia alienating her readers. It may be a microcosm of the media in general alienating their audience.

    Like I said, I think it start with the media’s view of the president’s public persona as being his most important role–to the exclusion of what he actually does.

    “The American brand’s reputation has been generated through vast, far-reaching, and all-encompassing contributions to the advancement of humanity. And it is profoundly at odds with Trump’s empty braggadocio. Even though America is stuck with Trump as its face for now, there is every reason to believe that it’ll regain its former glory once he passes from the scene. The unseemly antics of an impetuous man, even one so visible and powerful, can’t make America small forever, after all.”

    Notice, on the one hand, she’s saying that Trump’s braggadocio is unimportant, but, on the other hand, her constant tone is one of defiance to the power of Trump’s braggadocio.

    Maybe she (and the media generally) just don’t get that the people who voted for Trump never took his braggadocio seriously. The observation that Trump’s braggadocio shouldn’t be taken seriously isn’t a novel or profound observation to them.

    1. There’s this thing called “swagger”.

      Certain people are supposed to have it.

      NFL quarterbacks, fighter pilots, surgeons, . . . .

      Yeah, Donald Trump has swagger. Americans like swagger.

      They like seeing UFC fighters talk shit to each other before a fight. They also like seeing players dance in the end zone after a touchdown.

      It’s not important. Get over it.

      1. Swagger appeals to dipshits. As we descend into Idiocracy the next baffoons will make Trump look like Alec Guinness.

        1. Both parties are into swagger – the conservative swagger is just louder and more open – they’re proud to flaunt the fact that they’re into being American n shit. It can be obnoxious, but I appreciate that it’s pretty cut and dry.

          The liberal elites have the quiet, judge-y swagger – the ‘I’m open minded, worldly, and love pissing on American traditions and values because they’re antiquated and obnoxious’, swagger. I think they do it to impress elite Europeans.

          Elitist of any country or culture are really the fucking worst people on the planet. They shit on traditions but have no issue making a living off of turning traditions of the poor country folk into an overpriced ‘scene’. If you take a look a scenesters now a days, they’re either making a living in tech or trying to reconnect with their roots which they shit on forever out of embarrassment. Now, they can bottle and sell what makes them unique. It’s the ultimate pretentiousness.

          1. We’re in the early stages of the anti-elitist counterstroke. It reminds me of when Homer Simpson’s brother let Homer design a car thinking he would do better than the engineers who’d been putting out bland designs. It backfired, of course, because Homer is a bafoon and had no clue what he was doing.

            1. I do appreciate the irony of you repeatedly misspelling the word that you use to call other people stupid.

              1. +2 William Baffins

              2. Thank the good lord Jesus Christ that someone pointed that out. Amen.

            2. Nonsense. Homer was a big booster of rack & peanut steering.

          2. The liberal elites swish, not swagger.

          3. The left likes to show off how much they hate America. It’s downright pathological.

        2. By buffoon, you mean the things he says in public, right?

          Not the things he does?

          1. Both. The main reason you can defend his “actions” as anything short of awful is because of the court checking him and a few hostile senators from his own party. I’ll give you Gorsuch though.

            1. Well, he’s right on net neutrality, pulling out of the Paris accord, wanting to repeal ObamaCare, staying out of Syria and working with Putin to defeat ISIS, he’s right on signing the tax reform package, he’s right on not going after our Second Amendment rights in the wake of some tragic shootings, . . .

              He’s done a lot of things right.

              His tweets are terrible, but so what?

              1. Very selective set of choices Ken. Any thoughts on the continuation of the drug war, enhanced police state, increased military spending or the ballooning deficit (especially if the tax reform becomes law). Or is Tax and Spend only bad when Democrats do it?

                1. Drug war: would’ve continued anyway. (Obama, admitted pothead, did NOTHING to try and stop prosecution of marijuana users; Hillary would almost certainly have continued the drug war.)
                  Enhanced police state: would’ve continued anyway. (Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, etc. were all in favor of more cops.)
                  Increased military spending: yeah, that’s bad.
                  Ballooning deficit: likely would’ve continued anyway, although Trump’s tax plan will probably increase it a fair amount.

                2. I didn’t say I approve of everything he’s done, but so far, he’s been far more libertarian than advertised–in deed.

                  Focus on what he says and he’s a train wreck, but why focus on what politicians say?

                  Obama conducted hundreds of raids on state legal medical marijuana clinics in California during his first term. Because his tweets weren’t obnoxious doesn’t make that any better, and because Trump’s tweets are obnoxious doesn’t make his respect for state marijuana laws any worse.

                  Do you imagine Sessions doesn’t raid recreational marijuana retailers out of the goodness of his heart? Trump promised to leave it to the states during the campaign, and that’s what he’s done.

                  Pay attention to what they do. Don’t get distracted by hand-waiving and tweets.

                  1. I didn’t say I approve of everything he’s done, but so far, he’s been far more libertarian than advertised–in deed.

                    That’s a very low standard you have. If you think about all the constitutional and rights violations that originated under previous presidents that he continued, he is not libertarian at all. We’re still doing offensive wars undeclared by Congress in 7+ countries. The NSA is still conducting unconstitutional mass surveillance in the populace. TSA thugs are still violating people’s rights at airports. The drug war is still happening. He placed countless authoritarians, warmongers, and establishment hacks into his administration, which isn’t justifiable even if it’s supposedly some kind of political calculation because it will take us nowhere good. Asset forfeiture is still being used on a massive scale. We still have countless unconstitutional gun control laws, even at the federal level. It just goes on and on. It’s not like he could instantly fix all of these things by himself, but he could at least speak out against them and take actions that would force Congress to make changes.

                    You have to drop your standards down to zero in order to think that Trump is anywhere close to libertarian. Even though you simply said “he’s been far more libertarian than advertised“, that is a really hollow accomplishment. And no, the fact that other candidates would have been just as bad or worse is not relevant to how libertarian Trump is.

                  2. Obama also went after legit pot dispensaries in WA, and CA too. After he specifically had promised not to.

                    1. I meant to say WA! And OR. Also, MT. A promise from Obama has a very short shelf life.

                3. Any thoughts on the continuation of the drug war, enhanced police state, increased military spending or the ballooning deficit (especially if the tax reform becomes law). Or is Tax and Spend only bad when Democrats do it?

                  Those are things that would have happened anyway.

                  And between lower taxes vs deficits: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. To put it differently, the return I get on spending a dollar on reducing the deficit is negligible compared to the return I get on a dollar that I invest right now. That’s why, given the choice, any rational person would prefer lower taxes to deficit reduction.

        3. You would think so. People thought Reagan was a buffoon, but now he seems like another pretty good chapter in American history to non-proggies. I think sooner or later though voters are going to reject a certain level of depravity. Not every voter is a loser with a child-like intellect, although one wonders why those people can vote in the first place. Trump won because all the other candidates last year were so much of the same kind of awful that they couldn’t even get enough half-hearted support to get the nomination or make it to 270. To boot, Democrats were overconfident, while Republicans got lucky. The person who will defeat Trump will beat him at his own game while not alienating the plurality that elected him. Eventually though the landscape and the rules will change entirely, and a different kind of politician will take control. Or the elected offices will no longer matter, and the bureaucrats and courts will control everything.

          1. Trump’s party copied the LP energy and Second Amendment planks. The Dems copied the Greens and tried to ban electricity and guns. Soooo….

      2. “It’s not important. ”

        If you can attain the presidency on little more than swagger and a fancy haircut, it’s important.

        1. Trump attained the presidency by running against the most disliked politician in America.

          1. He also appealed to disaffected Democrats in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

          2. When running against the likes of a politician like Clinton, swagger and a fancy haircut is enough to put you over the top.

          3. I don’t disagree with this at all. Well said.

        2. The fancier haircut has always won the presidency.

          1. It certainly “Trumps” a pantsuit.

  15. Oooo, got me right in the patriotism. Alright, despite the unnecessary jabs at The Donald, I likeded it. A lot. If not for ‘Murica I might well have grown up in a banana republic either killing villagers or being a villager killed by my gov’ts soldiers, so yeah, I love this place.

    But one thing I would add to the article, one thing that should be first and foremost on every American’s mind: America is great because most of those who made her great were chasing the almighty dollar. Tesla was great, but those who turned Tesla’s ideas into commercial successes to power the world were equally great. If we get away from that idea who cares what the world will think of us, because we won’t think anything of ourselves.

  16. The real damage being done to America is the destruction of credibility of the FBI, Justice Department, IRS and others by blatantly partisan political motives for their actions. Who would we get to investigate them? Who would demand they turn over documents, evidence etc and actually have consequences if they didn’t or worse destroy such evidence.

    We the People are far too complacent or willing to shrug it off if we side with the politics. If we don’t have standards for all we have them for none. And that is the nations biggest risk.

    1. The real damage being done to America is the destruction of credibility of the FBI, Justice Department, IRS and others by blatantly partisan political motives for their actions.

      Funny, I think the fact that people increasingly distrust these organizations and stop worshiping people like Hoover is a good thing.

  17. Is this a yokel thread? Someone give me a primer on how to tell which group gets to claims a topic.

    1. This is the intellectual nerve center of libertarianism. So yeah, pretty much all yokels.

      1. Every last one of us. *as he sips his Don Francisco’s Vanilla Nut coffee while scoffing at the Starbucks cup some environazi has left discarded on the sidewalk*

      2. Tony! You haven’t ended your own miserable life yet. What a shame.

  18. What has made America great is freedom for ordinary citizens to pursue their dreams. Every one of the economic advances and the entertainment advances was done despite government, not because of it. Nothing Hollywood has done has escaped government criticism and if it weren’t for the constitution, it wouldn’t have happened.

    Trump’s greatness is that he has exposed government for a steaming pile of power and wealth hungry individuals who choose to prey on others to achieve their ends rather than creating wealth.

    Trump is making America great again, mostly by destroying government who had been making great strides in curtailing our freedom.

  19. America’s Brand would be harmed less if the media didn’t call him names and jump all over everything he says as the end of the world. Kim jong un(?) wouldn’t have called Trump insane if the Media hadn’t already made that claim.

    Just because you disagree with someone does not mean they are insane or liars or etc.

    1. I have little doubt that few outside the US have ever heard Trump speak or express an opinion about anything. They’re being fed the correct opinion by their media.

      1. Many within the IS are the same way. Look at how fucking stupid Tony is.

  20. Jesus christ Edison did not invent the lightbulb!

    1. It was Comrade Tomas Edisonsky, Hero of Soviet Union!

    2. Isn’t Jesus Christ Edison that kid that slings rock over at 3rd & Pembroke?

      1. No, that’s Jesus Christ Eduardo.

        1. I’ll have to go check that out.

    3. Edison sure as hell backed shoot-first prohibitionism, to help Herb Hoover help the economy and Make Murrica Grate!

      1. Is everything you write about ‘prohibition’? What a narrow little mind.

  21. So we stupid Americans have taken a beating in whose eyes? I’m sure they mean the Eurotrash elites who never thought much of us anyway, yet park their money here and appropriate our “culture”.

    1. “So we stupid Americans have taken a beating in whose eyes?”

      In American eyes.

      1. In wannabe Eurotrash elitist American eyes.

  22. What made America great was freedom — the freedom everyone in DC chips away at, every day, 11 billion dollars worth a day.

    1. Money isn’t freedom. Freedom is freedom.

  23. Shikha will chant fascist WASP slogans for cash! What a country.

  24. Actually, one thinks that America must be at its greatest when they hate us.

    1. It’s even better when Americans hate each other.

    2. They hate us because they anus

  25. “But the fact is that this country’s hard power?and its embrace of its role as the policeman of the world?has been more of a liability than strength. This is not to deny that America’s military strength has done some good, but, on balance, it’s been more of a liability than an asset. Indeed, almost every intervention America has undertaken after the two great wars has backfired, most notably in Vietnam. Nor did it redeem itself with its post-9/11 military action in Afghanistan and Iraq?not to mention Libya.”

    Two arguments in this.

    1) Most interventions, if not all, will be messy and time consuming. This is not necessarily a reason to not assert dominance and force compliance, but just something that must be noted. My argument against most American interventions in recent memory is that they were unnecessary and initiated by individuals living in some sort of fantasy that because the USA had so much conventional superiority we could somehow accomplish things easily. Our recent endeavors have been a waste of our political capital and involving Americans in issues not key to our survival. Let the Europeans step up.
    2) Sometimes people need a boot to the face. Not every country or leader speaks our language of liberalism and capitalism, some only understand force. This is why we keep our boots ready for stomping.

    1. …and one of these days these boots are gonna stomp all over you!

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  27. I’d rather have this than the groveling “apology tour” that Obama engaged in for 8 years.

  28. Reason magazine handed Donald Trump the Republican Nomination when it ran his image. Ten months and 10 days later he had the nomination. He was sworn in 14 months almost to the day after Reason TV showed his reaction to Libertarianism: “I like it!” True, 16 years earlier he had made similar noises about Ventura’s Socialist Wrestlers’ Party and the Generic Third Party, and that seed was the nightmare of today’s version of The Prohibition Party (especially after Perot). But Trump couldn’t have done it without incompetent Gee Oh Pee contestants to make him look good. The presidency was handed Trump by Econazis with green teeth wanting to ban electricity and guns but keep weed illegal. That was swift.

    1. You’re a tiresome gibbering idiot. Just stop.

  29. This month, a Nation Brand Index poll of public opinion in 50 countries found that the “Trump effect” had caused America’s reputation to drop from first to sixth place in world rankings on a whole host of metrics, such as its attractiveness as a tourist, business, and work destination.

    Yay! Cutting back on immigration quotas shouldn’t be a problem then!

  30. “informed elites” don’t like Trump, no kidding.

  31. The funny thing is that if Trump had been elected pre FDR, or hell maybe even pre Reagan, he would have probably been remembered as an awesome firebrand of a politician… With some good policies, and some bad, but nothing insane. His actual opinions are mixed as being good/bad IMO, but he’s not crazy. The political elite has become some overly PC and terrified of offending anybody anywhere in the world that they can’t deal with somebody who has the balls to just walk out and say what they think, right or wrong, and also mention that he doesn’t give a fuck what anybody else thinks on the subject… There’s nothing wrong with this. I think we need 110% more of this. Trump isn’t the package I would have picked, but this idea that we as a nation can never say/do anything that offends foreigners EVAR is insane.

    1. You can’t run your personal life trying to be nice to every single person you meet 100% of the time… So what moron thinks you can PROPERLY run the most powerful country on earth while not being neutral or outright mean to some other countries/people/groups from time to time? Sometimes you just need to do what is in your own best interests, and if others don’t like it that’s their fucking problem. Like allowing in millions of illiterate fucks from all over the world. They aren’t going to add shit to America, but we’re supposed to let them in because it’s the nice thing to do… Well it isn’t the nice thing to do for the 300 million plus people already here, so fuck those people. Let in doctors from abroad, but we don’t need more dish washers or Uber drivers for fucks sake!

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