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  1. #1 Vladimir Putin doesn’t understand what makes America special 
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    Vladimir Putin, as our English cousins might put it, is too clever by half. In his Thursday op-ed essay in The New York Times, he couldn’t resist needling President Obama’s calling America “an exceptional nation,” and tried to instruct him in the perils of hubris: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional.”

    Mr. Putin does not understand what the words “exceptional nation” actually mean. Mr. Obama doesn’t, either, though he does occasionally acknowledge the plain and obvious fact that there is indeed something different, and maybe better, about the United States. In his speech Tuesday night, he spoke of “what makes us exceptional” as a reason to act in Syria, with or without the backing of the international community. But Mr. Obama has ridiculed the proposition just as Mr. Putin does. “I believe in American exceptionalism,” he told reporters in France in 2009, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

    America isn’t an accident of history. The English writer G.K. Chesterton observed that “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.” Not a religious creed, though the Founders were guided by faith, but a creed set out in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson spoke of that creed in a way that despots, tin-pots and even presidents of Russia have difficulty understanding: “The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride the people legitimately, by the grace of God.” Harry S. Truman put it another way: “Being an American is more than a matter of where you or your parents come from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal.” Ronald Reagan observed that “our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few. It is the universal right of all God’s children.” America, declared John Winthrop 400 years ago, is a nation founded as an experiment in liberty, a “city on a hill,” adding, “The eyes of all people are upon us.”

    That makes America pretty exceptional in anybody’s language. Those eyes have seen a lot of good, some bad and even occasionally the ugly. Those eyes saw Pilgrims, Puritans and other immigrants carve a nation out of a wilderness, planting crops and building cities. Those “eyes of all people” saw citizens rise up against an oppressive, distant government and win a war for independence. Within the first 30 years, those same Americans repulsed a British attempt to recapture lost ground. Within its first century, America struggled through a bitter and bloody war between the states at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and righted a colossal wrong.

    Out of the ashes of that war a new society emerged. American farms would feed much of the world, and its factories would bestride the world’s economy. The U.S. production of goods and services would exceed that of our two biggest competitors, China and Japan, combined. American explorers would chart not just the far reaches of the planet, but reach into the solar system itself.

    But it’s the liberated spirit and imagination of the people that makes America exceptional. Bad taste and inconvenient political views go unpunished here, protected by a Constitution that guarantees not responsible and respectable speech, but speech that is free. Mr. Reagan told the story of an American and a Russian arguing, at the nadir of the Cold War, about who lived with the most freedom. “In America,” the American said, “I can pound the desk of my president and say, ‘Ronald Reagan is the worst leader in the world,’ and nobody will throw me in jail.’” The Russian replied: “So what? I can pound the desk of my president and say, ‘Ronald Reagan is the worst leader in the world,’ and nobody will throw me in jail, either.” Mr. Putin should appreciate that.

    America the exceptional is special, but nobody says it’s perfect. Yet America at its best lifts the spirits of the world. At its blundering worst, the world observes how a free society repents, repairs and reinvents itself. It’s what makes “we, the people” different and the nation exceptional. The rest of the world still dreams of coming here, knowing there will be not only the wealth of opportunity, but also the most important wealth of all, the wealth of a man who can live free. That’s the exceptionalism that Vladimir Putin can’t understand, or see.


    http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/20...#ixzz2f2smz9Uk
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

    To Achieve Ordered Liberty You Must Have Moral Order As Well

    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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  2. #2  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    And as one would expect, our DUmmie friends agree with Putin. Will they move to Russia? No way man.
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub View Post
    And as one would expect, our DUmmie friends agree with Putin. Will they move to Russia? No way man.
    Nope. Becuse as I've said before...the Libtards think they're smarter than everyone else and that the only reason Communism failed was because they weren't implementing it.
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

    To Achieve Ordered Liberty You Must Have Moral Order As Well

    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    I'm not that nuts about the whole Exceptionalism thing myself. Smacks too much of Manifest Destiny, Herrenvolk, and God's Chosen Race kind of thinking for my taste.
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  5. #5  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    In his heart of hearts, Putin knows that America is exceptional, because at the end of the Cold War, we were the ones left standing. When the Soviets were trying to enslave mankind, we were liberating mankind. When the Soviets tried to dictate economic growth and failed, we simply grew our economy without orders. When the Soviet wheat harvests repeatedly failed, we, their adversary, fed them. I truly wish that somebody in this administration cared enough to say that in public.
    --Odysseus
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    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    This is one of those things that people get completely wrong.

    Alexis de Tocqueville didn't say the United States was exceptional because of our democratic institutions; he said we were exceptional despite our democratic institutions.


    It must be acknowledged that in few of the civilized nations of our time have the higher sciences made less progress than in the United States; and in few have great artists, distinguished poets, or celebrated writers been more rare. Many Europeans, struck by this fact, have looked upon it as a natural and inevitable result of equality; and they have thought that if a democratic state of society and democratic institutions were ever to prevail over the whole earth, the human mind would gradually find its beacon lights grow dim, and men would relapse into a period of darkness.

    To reason thus is, I think, to confound several ideas that it is important to divide and examine separately; it is to mingle, unintentionally, what is democratic with what is only American.

    ~ From Democracy in America
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    Senior Member Unreconstructed Reb's Avatar
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    "Out of the ashes of that war a new society emerged."

    More importantly, a new government emerged, the birth of The State.
    "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that you won't need it until they try to take it away."---Thomas Jefferson

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  8. #8  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    This is one of those things that people get completely wrong.

    Alexis de Tocqueville didn't say the United States was exceptional because of our democratic institutions; he said we were exceptional despite our democratic institutions.


    It must be acknowledged that in few of the civilized nations of our time have the higher sciences made less progress than in the United States; and in few have great artists, distinguished poets, or celebrated writers been more rare. Many Europeans, struck by this fact, have looked upon it as a natural and inevitable result of equality; and they have thought that if a democratic state of society and democratic institutions were ever to prevail over the whole earth, the human mind would gradually find its beacon lights grow dim, and men would relapse into a period of darkness.

    To reason thus is, I think, to confound several ideas that it is important to divide and examine separately; it is to mingle, unintentionally, what is democratic with what is only American.

    ~ From Democracy in America
    That is an incomplete quote, and as such, does not convey De Toqueville's full meaning.

    The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people, and attempt to survey them at length with their own features.

    It is possible to conceive a people not subdivided into any castes or scale of ranks, among whom the law, recognizing no privileges, should divide inherited property into equal shares, but which at the same time should be without knowledge and without freedom. Nor is this an empty hypothesis: a despot may find that it is his interest to render his subjects equal and to leave them ignorant, in order more easily to keep them slaves. Not only would a democratic people of this kind show neither aptitude nor taste for science, literature, or art, but it would probably never arrive at the possession of them. The law of descent would of itself provide for the destruction of large fortunes at each succeeding generation, and no new fortunes would be acquired. The poor man, without either knowledge or freedom, would not so much as conceive the idea of raising himself to wealth; and the rich man would allow himself to be degraded to poverty, without a notion of self-defense. Between these two members of the community complete and invincible equality would soon be established. No one would then have time or taste to devote himself to the pursuits or pleasures of the intellect, but all men would remain paralyzed in a state of common ignorance and equal servitude.

    When I conceive a democratic society of this kind, I fancy myself in one of those low, close, and gloomy abodes where the light which breaks in from without soon faints and fades away. A sudden heaviness overpowers me, and I grope through the surrounding darkness to find an opening that will restore me to the air and the light of day. But all this is not applicable to men already enlightened who retain their freedom after having abolished those peculiar and hereditary rights which perpetuated the tenure of property in the hands of certain individuals or certain classes.

    When men living in a democratic state of society are enlightened, they readily discover that they are not confined and fixed by any limits which force them to accept their present fortune. They all, therefore, conceive the idea of increasing it. If they are free, they all attempt it, but all do not succeed in the same manner. The legislature, it is true, no longer grants privileges, but nature grants them. As natural inequality is very great, fortunes become unequal as soon as every man exerts all his faculties to get rich.

    The law of descent prevents the establishment of wealthy families, but it does not prevent the existence of wealthy individuals. It constantly brings back the members of the community to a common level, from which they as constantly escape; and the inequality of fortunes augments in proportion as their knowledge is diffused and their liberty increased.

    A sect which arose in our time and was celebrated for its talents and its extravagance proposed to concentrate all property in the hands of a central power, whose function it should afterwards be to parcel it out to individuals according to their merits. This would have been a method of escaping from that complete and eternal equality which seems to threaten democratic society. But it would be a simpler and less dangerous remedy to grant no privilege to any, giving to all equal cultivation and equal independence and leaving everyone to determine his own position. Natural inequality will soon make way for itself, and wealth will spontaneously pass into the hands of the most capable.

    Free and democratic communities, then, will always contain a multitude of people enjoying opulence or a competency. The wealthy will not be so closely linked to one another as the members of the former aristocratic class of society; their inclinations will be different, and they will scarcely ever enjoy leisure as secure or complete; but they will be far more numerous than those who belonged to that class of society could ever be. These persons will not be strictly confined to the cares of practical life, and they will still be able, though in different degrees, to indulge in the pursuits and pleasures of the intellect. In those pleasures they will indulge, for if it is true that the human mind leans on one side to the limited, the material, and the useful, it naturally rises on the other to the infinite, the spiritual, and the beautiful. Physical wants confine it to the earth, but as soon as the tie is loosened, it will rise of itself.

    Not only will the number of those who can take an interest in the productions of mind be greater, but the taste for intellectual enjoyment will descend step by step even to those who in aristocratic societies seem to have neither time nor ability to indulge in them. When hereditary wealth, the privileges of rank, and the prerogatives of birth have ceased to be and when every man derives his strength from himself alone, it becomes evident that the chief cause of disparity between the fortunes of men is the mind. Whatever tends to invigorate, to extend, or to adorn the mind rises instantly to a high value. The utility of knowledge becomes singularly conspicuous even to the eyes of the multitude; those who have no taste for its charms set store upon its results and make some efforts to acquire it.

    In free and enlightened democratic times there is nothing to separate men from one another or to retain them in their place; they rise or sink with extreme rapidity. All classes mingle together because they live so close together. They communicate and intermingle every day; they imitate and emulate one another. This suggests to the people many ideas, notions, and desires that they would never have entertained if the distinctions of rank had been fixed and society at rest. In such nations the servant never considers himself as an entire stranger to the pleasures and toils of his master, nor the poor man to those of the rich; the farmer tries to resemble the townsman, and the provinces to take after the metropolis. No one easily allows himself to be reduced to the mere material cares of life; and the humblest artisan casts at times an eager and a furtive glance into the higher regions of the intellect. People do not read with the same notions or in the same manner as they do in aristocratic communities, but the circle of readers is unceasingly expanded, till it includes all the people.

    As soon as the multitude begins to take an interest in the labors of the mind, it finds out that to excel in some of them is a powerful means of acquiring fame, power, or wealth. The restless ambition that equality begets instantly takes this direction, as it does all others. The number of those who cultivate science, letters, and the arts, becomes immense. The intellectual world starts into prodigious activity; everyone endeavors to open for himself a path there and to draw the eyes of the public after him. Something analogous occurs to what happens in society in the United States politically considered. What is done is often imperfect, but the attempts are innumerable; and although the results of individual effort are commonly very small, the total amount is always very large.

    It is therefore not true to assert that men living in democratic times are naturally indifferent to science, literature, and the arts; only it must be acknowledged that they cultivate them after their own fashion and bring to the task their own peculiar qualifications and deficiencies.
    In short, not only does De Toqueville consider Americans exceptional when compared to non-democratic regimes, he considered us unique among democratic ones.
    --Odysseus
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    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    In his heart of hearts, Putin knows that America is exceptional, because at the end of the Cold War, we were the ones left standing.
    Exceptional or not, we were good enough to kick their asses.

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  10. #10  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Vladimir is getting ready to market a new sports energy drink: PutinTang.

    On Edit: someone beat me to it.
    Last edited by Rockntractor; 09-16-2013 at 02:11 PM.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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