Noam Chomsky on Principles & Values
The Great Seal is a graphic presentation of "the idea of America" from its birth. It should appear with Ronald Reagan who blissfully described himself as the leader of a "shining city on the hill" while orchestrating the ghastly crimes of his years in office, leaving not only slaughter and destruction in much of the world but also major threats of nuclear war and terror, and as an extra benefit, a major contribution to global jihadism.
There were some surprises. One was that the election was not over after the Democratic convention. One might expect that the opposition party would have a landslide victory during a severe economic crisis, after eight years of disastrous policies on all fronts, with an incumbent so unpopular that his own party had to disavow him, and a dramatic collapse in US standing in world opinion. The Democrats did win, barely. If the financial crisis had been slightly delayed, they might not have.
A good question is why the margin of victory for the opposition party was so small, given the circumstances. One possibility is that neither party reflects public opinion. As many studies show, both parties are well to the right of the population on many major issues, domestic and international.
The second reason is, of course, that we're here. We happen to have an unusual degree of freedom in the US, and, for most of us, privilege. That confers enormous responsibility for our own actions, and for our influence on policy. Even if it were not the case that this is by far the most powerful country in the world, that responsibility would or should be of primary concern to us.
When I speak to elite audiences, I constantly get asked, What’s the solution? If I say obvious thing like Pick your cause and go volunteer for a group that’s working on it, that’s never the answer they want. They want some sort of magic key that will solve everything quickly, overwhelmingly, and effectively. There are no such solutions.
People who are actually engaged in dealing with the problems of life sometimes just give up. You can find that too. But many keep struggling effectively and bring about changes.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)