[OPE] Class paradoxes in the US presidential election II

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@telfort.nl)
Date: Tue May 13 2008 - 14:35:30 EDT

BTW I am not the only one pondering this - check out the Boston Globe (pretty sharp newspaper, is my impression) here:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/05/13/obamas_american_spirit_could_use_some_idealism/ Excerpt:

"A lower-class Scotsman named Alexander Fleming achieved the greatest medical breakthrough of the 20th century despite the British class system, and the inventor of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, was an Italian fascist. Nonetheless, Noonan is right to stand in awe of the story of how two bicycle-shop owners from Dayton, Ohio, cracked the mystery of heavier-than-air flight that had eluded the most brilliant scientific minds of Europe. The notion that it could only happen in America may be debatable, but it's not a debate that many Americans would welcome."

Bit of an overstatement - Europe produced Otto Lilienthal, Werner von Braun, and Albert Einstein. And among others, my Dad (he flew gliders in his youth - mind you, they looked more like milk crates with wings in those days). Let's face it, a lot of "America's great ideas" were outsourced from Europe. But rather than get into a terrible rivalry, the important thing in international relations is to share each others best ideas, not the worst. Nowadays you can make a giant scoop in foreign policy at negligible cost, simply by borrowing a really great idea that makes things better for everybody, instead of a moronic idea that makes any cooperation impossible and obstructs real human progress. If you are going to borrow an idea, why not borrow the best possible idea?

For example, Mr Bush, who is famous for his interventions abroad in Iraq and at home in New Orleans, blames the Burmese government for criminal neglect of a lot of victims. But that is not leadership. Leadership is getting people to cooperate, so that those people are really rescued. If you cannot do that, or if you really have other motives, best to stay out of it.


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