Current Events

Talk about a busy day for political posts, here are two more articles I found that absolutely must get posted.

The first is an opinion column from the New York Jewish Times that talks about the plight of the everyday Israeli. The article makes a few really good points (like the fact that average Israeli is search more times per day than the average Palestinian), mixed in with some decidedly non-journalistic ranting. Definitely worth a read.

The second article is a Drudge Report exclusive. Basically it states that Congressman Hastert plans to work with the Bush White House (if Bush wins a second term) to implement a VAT, flat-tax, or federal sales tax that would effectively negate the need for the IRS. This kind of action would single handedly do more to help the U.S. economy AND increase federal income than anything else the U.S. Congress could do. The IRS drags billions (thats right billions) out of the U.S. economy every year and does more to violate constitutional rights than the Patriot Act ever did.

American Exceptionalism

A fairly common academic debate I have is over the perceived nature of America’s base state. Is America an exceptional country by its vary nature. To many Americans this seems self evident. This idea of American exceptionalism is so widely held as to be a cornerstone of American politics and self image. Many U.S. presidents including FDR, Ronald Reagan, and John Kennedy strongly held to the maxim of America being a special and exceptional nation.

The reason I bring it up is because it is a long held opinion of Conservative Republicans that a disproportional number of Democrats hold a disdain for said “American Exceptionalsim”, believing that America is NOT a exceptional country and that the world would NOT be better off being more “American like.” It is often cited as a reason of distrust in the liberal establishment of the Democratic party and (I believe) the focal reason why Americans historically and overwhelmingly trust Republican administrations with national defense (present administration excluded.)

I had never actually seen hard poll numbers on this phenomenon before; leading me to believe that it was simply a social stereotype. Then I read some really interesting numbers by U.S. News & World Report pollster Scott Rasmussen. Those numbers are what follows:

  • America is generally fair and decent: 64%
  • America is generally unfair and discriminatory: 22%
  • The world would be a better place if other countries behaved more like the U.S: 62%
  • The world would be a worse place if other countries behaved more like the U.S: 14%
  • (Republicans) America is generally fair and decent: 83%
  • (Republicans) America is generally unfair and discriminatory: 7%
  • (Democrats) America is generally fair and decent: 46%
  • (Democrats) America is generally unfair and discriminatory: 37%

Those are some pretty stark numbers. I quote them here for reference, but what do you thing this seems to say about the differences between the two parties?