Friday, November 25, 2005

Where Is Our Shining City On The Hilltop?

"I don't think Americans realize how much we have tarnished [our own] ideals in the eyes of the rest of the world these past few years. The public opinion polls tell us that America isn't just disliked or feared overseas -- it is reviled. We are seen as hypocrites who boast of our democratic values but who behave lawlessly and with contempt for others. I hate this America-bashing, but when I try to defend the United States and its values in my travels abroad, I find foreigners increasingly are dismissive. How do you deny the reality of Abu Ghraib, they ask, when the vice president of the United States is actively lobbying against rules that would ban torture?

Of all the reversals the United States has suffered in recent years, this may be the worst. We are slowly shredding the fabric that defines what it means to be an American.

Not so long ago our country really was seen as different. Foreigners queued up outside any institution that called itself an "American university," hoping for a chance at their piece of the dream." ...

David Ignatius "Replant the American Dream" Washington Post November 25, 2005.

From the sketchbook attributed to the early Renaissance Milanese painter, illuminator, sculptor, and architect Giovannino de’ Grassi (d. 1398) [detail].


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