Saturday, April 16, 2016

American Exceptionalism


Listen to this.
Memorize it.
Make it part of your vocabulary.
Recite it on demand.
Teach it to your children and your grandchildren.



Transcript (thank God for voice to text on my phone!):

America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because the US Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written, because it says something different than almost any people and any government has believed in human history.
Most governments in the past said might makes right and the King has all the power and the people are dependent subjects, and the American Founders said: "No! God gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure those rights."
Government is not the author or source of our rights and you don’t make America Great Again by giving more power to one guy in Washington DC.
You make America Great Again by recovering a constitutional republic where Washington is populated by people who are servant leaders who want to return power to the people and to the communities, because what’s great in America is the Rotary Club. It's small businesses and churches and schools and fire departments and it’s little leagues across this country.
What makes America is not some guy in Washington who says: "If I had more power I could fix it all unilaterally."
That's not the American Tradition.


44 comments:

  1. That statement is by far better than anything I have heard from any current candidate so far. He gets it - the way it should be.

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  2. Yep... Nothing more needed.

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    1. Actually, quite a bit more is needed.
      The flaw in Sasse's theory is his assumption that the structure of American government was a spontaneous creation of the founders.

      In fact much of the structure was formed in England from the time of Charles I through the English Civil War through the Restoration through the Glorious Revolution.
      A period of considerable tumult that enacted Habeas Corpus, a bill of rights and separation of powers among others. There was the Lambert constitution but Cromwell put the kibosh on that and went back to important Puritan stuff like outlawing theater.

      It was also not lost on the founders that religion was behind a lot of the conflict but the contemporary right wants to bury that along with the contributions of the left in the growth of America.

      We have built on great ideas and expanded those ideas but thinking we can roll it all back to the late 18th century (or should want to) isn't going to receive universal acceptance.
      The sooner we drop the idea of absolute American exceptionalism the sooner we drop the folly of believing we can force American culture on the rest of the world.

      There is usually more needed.


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    2. duck, you're a retard, go see a doctor.

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    3. Duck, I don't see where he actively denied credit to prior sources. It just wasn't germane to his point.
      Also, you say that the right doesn't want to attribute religious influence to the founding? Even C.I. wouldn't go that far. I don't see it.
      We shouldn't force American Culture on the rest of the world, at least not our political culture (they gladly swallow our popular culture, to their detriment) since they don't have the prerequisite mindset for a republican form of government.
      We seem no longer to have it either.

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    4. Correct; the Founders had religious influence as part of the base that informed the origins of our Constitution. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as such influence enhances Liberty.

      The transcript above is spot on.....I just wish we acted so. This election cycle seems to rebuke the notion that we are exceptional.

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  3. It would be more useful without the esoteric "share project." I have never heard the phrase before. I think I have an inkling to what he means, but I'm not sure even after thinking about it.

    So that means a bit more than memorization is needed if you believe his message needs to be shared with a wider audience.

    So please rephrase for me his introductory sentence.

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    1. Psacal, I just listened again in case I glossed over something.
      I did not hear the words share or project.
      ?

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    2. Oh, I see them down further. Poor transcription. "shared project".
      Isn't our government our shared project?

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    3. Some sharing we have here. And just talking about what we believe was intended (BTW, show us where any American Founder used collectivist jargon like 'shared project.')

      And even presuming they did, there is a huge disconnect now between theory and practice.

      Where once we might have rebelled and at least tarred and feathered a pol who presumed too much he was an elected tyrant, -- and THAT would be power sharing in practice! -- now they are like a bully in the playground who, upon catching the ball, decided he and his cronies could play "Monkey in the Middle" and daring all the littler kids to try to take the "power" away.

      At the end of this video are a bunch of windows to other videos. One of them is of this same Ben Sasse giving a TedX talk. I'd say he had something good to say, but it took him forever to get to the point (which took maybe a minute at the end of a 24 minute youtube). And he used several bits of jargon. If his is the voice of future conservatism, then conservatives' problems will get worse.

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    4. A shared project, in my mind, is one where all contribute to the goal of a "Government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

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    5. Pascal, agree with your points.

      True conservatives follow "let your yea be yea and your nay be nay". Neo conservatives, well, let's just say that they're all into ends justifying means and bending words to mean whatever the pollsters say people would like to hear.

      Sasse said some good words. But do any of us really believe he's not just another one pulling more wool over stinging eyes.

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  4. "No! God gives us rights by nature and government is just our share project to secure those rights."
    I didn't read anything nefarious in this founding father's quote. For me, it just means "We the people" and for government to stay out of our way.
    Good stuff here. If I may say... sassy!

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    1. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

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    2. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

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  5. If he really believed it he would push for term limits. Or agree to a self-imposed term limit

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    1. That's assuming everyone gets corrupted eventually.
      I'm glad Winston Churchill wasn't term limited.

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    2. Ed,
      Churchill was a statesman -- and some 5 decades ago.

      It seems to me that things have drastically changed since then because corruption has run rampant.

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    3. Cincinnatus:

      ...At the time, Cincinnatus was living in retirement on his four-acre farm outside of Rome and representatives from the Senate found him working in his field. When he learned of the emergency facing Rome, he left his plow standing in the field, bid farewell to his wife, and led the Romans to victory against the Aequians. Fifteen days after assuming the dictatorship, Cincinnatus resigned and returned to his plow.

      The parallels with General George Washington were not lost on his contemporaries. Called up from his retirement at Mount Vernon to lead the Continental Army, Washington dramatically resigned his commission and returned to his farm once the war had been won. In emulating Cincinnatus, Washington allayed real fears that he might use his position as a successful general to retain power as a military dictator. In the process Washington illustrated that he placed public service above personal gain.

      For Romans and Americans alike, Cincinnatus represented the ideal republican simplicity, an enlightened poverty that spurned luxury and cultivated a simple nobility of spirit. As the historian Rollin wrote of Cincinnatus: "Happy times! admirable simplicity! Poverty was not universally practiced, but it was esteemed and honoured, and not considered as a disqualification for the highest dignities of the state. The conduct of Quinctius [Cincinnatus] during his Consulship... [shows] us what a noble nature, what constancy, and what greatness of soul, inhabited a poor wretched cottage."

      For the Revolutionary generation, the republican simplicity of the American farmer provided a pointed contrast with the perceived luxury and decadence of the British empire. As the American Cincinnatus, Washington embodied America's agricultural self-sufficiency, which he saw as a crucial element in its economic and political independence from Great Britain....

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    4. When the job is done and the enemy beaten.

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  6. BTW, Although you like what Sasse said, he didn't answer the question put to him by this Leftist tool: "What is a conservative in your view today? Define conservativism in the 21st Century."

    Not that I expect anyone to care what I think, I'd love to be given the chance Senator Sasse had to give a clear answer to a national audience.

    The best way to make clear what it means to be conservative in the 21st Century or at any time in history is to compare him to the anti-conservative.

    When a conservative addresses problems, he is diligent about what does and does not work. Where a law is passed that fails, he doesn't do what the anti-conservative does which is to insist that the failures were only due to not doing more. The anti-conservative insists on doing the same things over and over again telling us to expect different outcomes.

    The conservative stops what doesn't work and tries something different. Trial and error is far superior than insisting you made no errors as does just about every other type, but especially the allegedly well-meaning liberal whose policies have long ago proven to be disastrous.

    Failure is never proof to anti-conservatives that what they are doing is wrong.

    A conservative is willing to admit error and make needed changes.

    Have you ever noticed that the anti-conservatives will relentlessly hound the conservative even for relatively minor errors but insist on moving on -- what difference does it make now -- when they've been proven wrong?

    In short the conservative will admit errors and work to correct them. He has strict standards.

    The anti-conservative haa only one standard "if someone does not agree with me he is guilty of criminal negligence."

    Hence an anti-conservative never hounds another anti-conservative as he does any conservative.

    One more thing. Have you ever noticed how the members of the GOPe hound conservatives but defend each other? Yep, this is proof that they are anti-conservatives too.

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    1. ... he doesn't do what the anti-conservative does which is to insist that the failures were only due to not doing more.
      --------

      Funny, the standard Libertarian solution to Libertarian failure is more Libertarianism. Lot of that going around.

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    2. Pascal Fervor,
      Have you ever noticed how the members of the GOPe hound conservatives but defend each other? Yep, this is proof that they are anti-conservatives too.

      Indeed.

      It has everything to do with the gravy train.

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    3. Funny, the standard Libertarian solution to Libertarian failure is more Libertarianism. Lot of that going around.

      You've just summed the Liberal formula, so what is your point exactly?

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    4. I'd offer that a Conservative [and Libertarian for that matter] is one who approaches each issue with two tests: 1. Does the Constitution [State or Federal] allow a State action to be taken, and 2. Does said action enhance the Liberty of the citizen.

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    5. Ducky, excellent point. Libertarianism is not what it's sold to be.

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  7. For many decades, WE THE PEOPLE have allowed the unilateral creep of the federal branch -- particularly the executive branch.

    Follow the money trail.

    Can one person fix this problem. Nope.

    But Congress refuses to do so, thus abrogating the principles of federalism, principles upon which our Constitution was based.

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    1. I had hopes the Tea Party movement would fix that.
      But it started out as anti-Democrat.
      Now it's focus is changing.

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    2. Hi Ed,
      The Tea Party started changing when Koch took charge.

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    3. And anti-democrat is not the same as moral and good.
      Just as republican is not the same as conservative and Christian.

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    4. "And anti-democrat is not the same as moral and good.
      Just as republican is not the same as conservative and Christian."
      True.
      I don't understand the Tea Party/Koch Bros remark.

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    5. It's said that FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity directed the Tea Party from 2010 on. Both groups are Koch Brothers PACs.

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    6. I understand that there is a formal Tea Party (trademark) and then there are the unaffiliated tea parties (Willow Run Tea Party Caucus is the one I identity with) that I think are more numerous.
      I don't see the detriment of AFP though.

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  8. Follow the money is right! Sigh...

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  9. I love this guy....just love him. He's smart, and he cares and he loves America.
    Poor Ducky, this made me laugh out loud "In fact much of the structure was formed in England from the time of Charles I through the English Civil War through the Restoration through the Glorious Revolution."
    Wouldn't our early Americans love to hear this, particularly the founding fathers!?

    And someone PLEASE tell me where Sasse or anybody else is insisting on we force American culture on the rest of the world? WHEN and WHERE? I wonder if liberals will be as outraged at the idea we want that when Muslims are forcing their culture on us?

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    1. Well, Duck is kinda right in that regard concerning the development of the rights of man, but it does sound odd.
      Muslims get a pass.

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  10. Ed, tell me what Ducky said about the rights of man that's right? I'm interested.
    Do you think, by the way, as Ducky suggests, that the fact that religion has caused conflicts and leftwingers have done some good in this country, is denied by Conservatives?
    This kind of hyperbole blows my mind...

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    1. Well, our Founders were influenced by the Magna Carta,John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and others regarding the natural rights of man.
      Our Founders considered themselves Englishmen and descendants of those philosophers.

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    2. I can suggest some in the name of Christianity have instigated war.
      Islam also.
      The left has given us kool aid, and Ben and Jerry's....

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    3. Oh, wait, Ed, you're "on the right" and Christian you're supposed to "want to bury that" information :-)

      Who ever argued that the Founders were influenced by those people, the Magna Carta, etc? And of course Christians have instigated war.....sometimes even in the name of the faith...not often. Not like Islam.

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    4. Oh, wait, Ed, you're "on the right" and Christian you're supposed to "want to bury that" information :-)

      Who ever argued that the Founders were influenced by those people, the Magna Carta, etc? And of course Christians have instigated war.....sometimes even in the name of the faith...not often. Not like Islam.

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