Monday’s Mtg: What does the United States stand for?

[Update Saturday:  See above for Ali’s suggested readings for this topic.]

[DavidG’s original post follows]

Ali had this great topic idea for the day before Independence Day. At least I think it’s great. It seems to me like fundamental and long-standing notions of what America stands for are up for grabs.  A lot of it is Trump’s election, sure. But I think it goes much deeper than just him.

 

We just seem to be re-litigating bedrock principles these days. Should the United States remain a world leader and provider of expensive global public goods? Does the 20th century American social contract need to be junked or expanded? Are we still a nation of immigrants? Arguably, even very basic aspects of our democracy are in doubt, like voting rights and federalism.  I guess the exact meanings of even basic principles are always in flux in a modern democracy like ours.  Still, something sure seems different to me.

Luckily for all concerned, I have no time this weekend to over-think this topic, so I won’t give much of any opening presentation.  Instead, I will give Ali first crack at opining.  So we don’t just have everybody pontificating all night on their broad (uselessly vague?) vision of America, I will step in from time to time during the discussion to bring up specific points for us to debate.  Happy 241st birthday to us.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READING –

 

NEXT WEEK: Is technology ruining our…attention spans?

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One response

  1. The United States stepped up to global leadership in 1945. This was, largely, unsought; in 1919 we had stepped away from it, with disastrous results.
    Sought or unsought, it is a burden. The crux of the matter is that, however difficult and unwelcome it is to be the world’s policeman, the world does need a policeman; international agencies do not seem to be able to do the job.
    Uncomfortable as one may be with the present overextension of the US, as pointed to by the late Chalmers Johnson for example, does anyone really look forward to another power taking its place?

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