Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Er . . . About our American Values. How 'bout Let's Not Spread 'Em Around

Now I have to admit to being a little surprised by this. In a recent Atlantic survey, in answer to the question "Should America focus on trying to spread our values to other countries around the world?" the answers actually came back relatively sane.
  • 15 percent said yes
  • 31 percent said US should try to learn other countries' values
  • 51 percent said that the US should do neither one, spread or learn
 The article says that what this shows is that "American have a low opinion of this country's values, perceiving that they are in decline." In fact, 68 percent of those asked said that American values have weakened since the 1940s. And about the same percentage said they have declined since the 1970s. (I find this extremely interesting in light of the fact that the Republican party has controlled the country since the 1970s. Is it any coincidence that with the dawn of the Reagan years came the overweening influence of great wealth both in politics and in the culture? Influence which has continued unabated since.)*

So OK, a majority think our country's values are weaker than others. Why? These answers are really revealing. What they indicate is that the American citizenry knows what's going on. All of the factors cited by over half the people reflect the shallowness and venality of American society. And yet, even with this awareness, we seem hell-bent on keeping everything as shallow and venal as possible.

The people basically know what's going on

It would repay your reading the whole article.

*You cannot count Bill Clinton as a Democrat, in my opinion. Nor Obama, for that matter. For me, true Democrats are progressive democrats, and I don't think we've had one of those in office since Carter.
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