Wednesday, July 03, 2019

  • Wednesday, July 03, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

I am actually stunned at this "video op-ed" from the New York Times attacking the idea that America is great.

The title indicates that the authors are practically in pain when confronted with people who believe America is great. "Please stop telling me America is great. It hurts my delicate sensitivities!"

The blurb for the video:
America is the greatest country on earth. It’s a phrase, a slogan, a dogma for patriots. And as we stare down the barrel of an upcoming election, we’re prepared to hear this refrain echo.

In the video Op-Ed above, we argue that the myth of America as the greatest nation on earth is at best outdated and at worst, wildly inaccurate. Comparing the United States of America on global indicators reveals we have fallen well behind Europe — and share more in common with “developing countries” than we’d like to admit.

There are two major problems with this video.

One is its tone. It does not look like a "video op-ed" from the New York Times; it looks like a Saturday Night Live skit. Its use of old movies and videos shows  not a sober argument about America's real problems, but rather it is making fun of anyone who actually thinks that the USA is great. The objective of the video, including the narrator's voice, is to make anyone who disagrees with its premise into a buffoon. While the authors might believe that it violates their safe space when people call America great, they have no problem directly mocking those people.

This is not an op-ed at all: it is propaganda.

Perhaps this is to be expected from a newspaper that had an editorial yesterday that tried to spin the longest economic growth period in America's history as a bad thing.

However, the video is not primarily an analysis, despite its cherry picking of statistics. It is just snark. It is trolling anyone who loves this country.

The second problem with the video is that it tries to rank the USA's "greatness" according to specific metrics where the US doesn't lead, or is woefully behind.

No one is arguing that America is perfect or that it doesn't have problems. No one is arguing that the US doesn't lead the world in many key indicators. But saying that this is what "great" means is sophistry.

When one asks potential migrants from around the world what country they most want to move to, the US is by far the top choice.

Either they are all idiots for preferring the US to Sweden, as this video would have you believe they should because of literacy rates, or there is more to America than its problems.

This is the point. America represents something that most other nations do not: it is the Land of Opportunity. France isn't.

In America, despite its problems, people of any origin and any race and any socio-economic class can dream to reach the greatest heights.  There will be obstacles, but in America those obstacles can be conquered - and there is a track record where those obstacles have been conquered by others.

The mindset  from our Founding Fathers that anyone can do anything remains a part of the fabric of the nation. This is what makes America great. And this is exactly what the New York Times is actively trying to destroy.

Cynicism is the enemy of idealism. America is built on ideals; the people behind this video - and those who funded them, and who promote them, including the New York Times -  are motivated to ridicule, demean and destroy those ideals.

This video is not meant to inspire Americans to do better, which we most certainly need to. It is meant to satirize those who believe in the American dream. It is meant to insult America itself.

Ironically, the US is the only country in the world that can create a New York Times that can make such an attack. And you are not seeing any significant numbers of Americans rushing to move to Europe where things are supposedly so much better.

There are reasons for this, and this video is meant to obscure those reasons.

I know that this is not my usual topic. However, the methodology used here (and elsewhere) to attack America follows the same playbook as those attacking Israel: Compare your target against a mythical perfection and then hammer at not reaching that goal, cherry pick statistics that suport your thesis and ignore any counterexamples, demean the good and highlight the bad as if that is representative - or, in Israel's case, fabricate the bad.

Both the US and Israel are built on the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things against the odds. This is what makes both countries great and it is the reason that there is such an affinity between the two nations.  Weakening either weakens both and ultimately makes the world a much more dangerous place.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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