I had already started forming my thoughts into an article when I ran across a posting in Stone Soup Musings about a question that blog's author had posed to some Canadians: who's your favorite American president?
Admittedly, I must have been in a foul mood (I had quit smoking and even my wife thought I was more tense than usual--I've since been off and on the wagon a couple times) when I wrote this response, but I thought I'd use it to introduce a succession of articles I hope to post and will call the Monkey See Monkey Do series.
Inside them there will be some repeated themes and even some repeated sentences. Regardless, here's installment #1.
I've been cruising a few blogs lately and have noticed a theme. Canadians have been spending a lot of time America bashing.
This follows another trend which is Americans bashing America. Though the seeds may have been planted in Korea or Viet Nam, I believe its waterhshed was Iranian radicals invading the American embassy there and kidnapping 300 American citizens. Large and influential groups of Americans, primarily "progressive" politicians, authors, and Hollywood, became victims of an odd strain of Stockholm syndrome. Editorials, books, and movies have had a decidedly Patty Hearst flavor ever since.
One of America's greatest exports is its culture. In addition to MacDonalds, Burger King, Rock and Roll, movies, etc., our exported culture includes America's opinion of itself in newspapers, movies, and lyrics.
That culture used to inspire other countries and citizens to be more self reliant, take individual responsibility, be entrepreneurial, encourage liberty, promote education, all kinds of positive behaviors.
Now it seems we're exporting the opposite, and the rest of the world is copying our behavior much as they did for 100+ years before--except now the examples are dysfunction, neurosis, anti-social behavior, and hostility toward our own government.
And now I come to Stone Soup Musings and find a casual interest in Canadian opinions (you could have been in NY and gotten the same opinions--I'm not sure I would have "gone off" but may have) and Mike is wishing Clinton had four (why not eight?) more years.
Since when did America care what the rest of the world thought? When did "the rest of the world" become the standard barer for what should and should not be done--even regarding our puritanical reactions to our politicians' extramarital affairs?
When was character excused from the list of presidential virtues? America's leaders carry a heavier burden than the rest of the world's. So what if they will tolerate any number of character defects? In America there remains a large population that expects more.
If Clinton had abused the trust in him from blacks as he did the trust in him from femininsts, would he still be thought so kindly of? Maybe we don't take feminism as seriously as we do racism?