Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Let Socialists Live with American Exceptionalism

In 1630 John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, spoke these words:

"for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us; soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world..."

Since then, Americans have considered themselves to be exceptional: the freest, most God-fearing, successful and since World War II the most powerful nation. It is not surprising that those who dislike America claim that America ought not to be an exception; that it ought to adopt the tyrannical and godless practices of Europe. "Americans are foolish for not copying the Germans," claim the America-haters, the socialists and the progressives.

Yet I have seen or heard of few who would trade their place here for citizenship in other nations. Who among them offers to move to socialist nations like India or Cuba, who after sixty years have dirt poor economies? On the other hand, I have seen many, many come here from Europe, eager to partake of the fruits of 19th century laissez faire, that still flower but are dying, and patronizingly claim that America should become more like the Europe from which they departed. Such people should return home. And as Americans have heeded the naysayers, the socialists, those who hate freedom and who would trade it for a world that minimizes maximum loss, America has declined and lost its virtue.

Let us re-read De Tocqueville, who argued that America would occupy a special place in the world. America was greatest without central banking; without a planned economy; without a big government in Washington or the state capitals. And as we have imitated the Greeks, the Spaniards, the French and the British, so have we stumbled.

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