10 Things to like about the USA

The Star Spangled Banner The American Revolution and Constitution were achieved by a group of the most Enlightened, educated and idealistic people who have ever lived. Their ideals remain the most hopeful set of political ideas we have, and not just for Americans. So when Lady Gaga got up to sing the theme song “Oh, say have you seen……..” it still remained the last, best hope for a world beset by dictators, maniacs, fanatics and ignoramuses. Thanks America, and Lady G. for a truly moving moment

The Civil War 1861-1865 A large number of (Northern) Americans risked it all to prove that hatred, bigotry and cruelty are not only inefficient, but they can also actually lose. As for the Glorious Myth of the Antebellum South, the term “Proto-Nazis” comes to mind, for want of less polite epithets.

The New Deal Franklin Roosevelt not only rebooted Capitalism (thus defeating Communism) he strengthened America’s economic sinews to such an extent that it basically carried the production burden of all the Allies in the Second World War. Goodbye Nazis a second time! The social settlement achieved lasted as the world model until at least 1980, the most powerful exercise of soft power ever attained.

NASA Not for the spacecraft, astronauts or web site, though all are of the most admirable quality. We’ve picked them for our award in project management. From a nothing start, step by incremental step, through Mercury, Gemini and Apollo until two of their own stood on the Moon. All in eight years. Compare that to George W Bush‘s foreign policy and you may begin to grasp where things have gone wrong lately.

The Food An old soldier of His Britannic Majesty’s army once told us of how, one afternoon in Burma, with the British supply chain having failed once again, the Americans showed up in a jungle clearing and took things over. Not only was the food infinitely better, but they made the Officers queue up with the Other Ranks (Enlisted Men), to the utter chagrin of the former. It’s pretty much the same wherever you go in America from democratic diners like McDonalds up to the top range, comparable to anything in Europe. And bigger portions.

Muhmmed Ali Proof that not every boxer is a brainless thug came in shape of this gifted sportsman, whose mind was every bit as nimble as his steps in the ring. As for his thoughts on why he refused to join the pointless Vietnam War, we are no longer permitted to quote them in a family blog. But he was right.

Hollywood Has had every epithet thrown at it you can think of, from highbrow Marxists to crazy conspiracy theorists. It can be vulgar, trashy, simplistic, horribly American-and more. But has taken the human experience and distilled it intelligibly across the whole planet, giving us moments of unforgettable joy, pathos, laughter and song. The commies gave us Eisenstein, who is OK for those who struggle to sleep at nights, but unwatchable for anyone else.

The San Francisco Police Department Forensic Lab, Hunter’s Point, Ca. OK, bit of a personal one. But when one of our staff writers visited it, more than twenty years ago he was treated with a kindness, courtesy and interest which should be a model for professional exchanges everywhere. And lunch thereafter, in what was reputed to be a converted bordello. The heavy flock wallpaper suggested something had been going on, that was for sure.

The University Cluster Harvard, Yale, the various UC’s, Princeton, MIT………we could go on and on. A conveyer belt of excellence driving Defence, IT, NASA (see above), the banks and every other aspect of what still (just) the world’s most advanced economy. If we have missed your alma mater, please write in and tell us, although Bible Colleges in Southern regions need not waste their time.

The National Parks Europe thought it had given the world heritage in the form of all its cathedrals, art galleries and all that stuff. They forgot Nature, which can look every bit as good as a Vermeer. Starting with Yellowstone, the US pioneered the idea of fencing off and preserving the best bits of the great outdoors, until everyone wanted to copy it. How poor we would be without them!

It remains to be seen how many of these things might yet exist in ten years’ time if Donald J Trump or his acolytes are returned to power. We hope any Americans reading will draw the appropriate conclusions.

#donald j trump #national parks #NASA #muhammed ali #hollywood #harvard #franklin d roosevelt

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