America's New Discontents

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  1. Adam's Apple
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    America's New Discontents
    by Victor Davis Hanson, Tribune News Services
    March 22, 2005

    Sometime in the 1960s there arose a new home-grown distrust of the United States, followed by an erosion of faith in the values of the West. Perhaps the culprit was the fiasco in Vietnam or the rise of a trendy multiculturalism that followed from it.

    Our schools often insisted that all cultures were to be roughly the same. History devolved more into melodrama than tragedy. America was no longer exceptional — and thus in no position to criticize a Cuba as undemocratic or condemn the Iranian mullahs as murderously theocratic.

    The enormous wealth and leisure that followed from global capitalism and democracy insulated us — creating an unreality about the sources for our privilege and naiveté about why life was so bad outside our shores.

    Consequently, some utopian elites forgot the free-market origins of their own riches and why they had the freedom and leisure to be so censorious of their own culture. Maybe they were guilty over our bounty. One way of enjoying an upscale American lifestyle, while simultaneously feeling pretty terrible about it, is to castigate the history and global conduct of the United States in the abstract — without ever giving up much in the concrete.

    How else could the currency speculator George Soros — whose 1992 financial manipulations almost destroyed the Bank of England and thousands of its small depositors — win praise from leftists for comparing President Bush's conduct to Nazism? The angry architects of Moveon.org were neither poor nor oppressed. Nor were they bothered that their Soros millions originated from the financial losses of others. But they did reflect that the most strident anti-Americanism is largely found among our unhappy upper-middle classes.

    for complete article http://victorhanson.com/articles/hanson032205.html
     

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