Monday, February 22, 2016


From the middle nineteen-forties when World War II ended with the two main aggressors crushed in large part because of our participation and contribution, America has been regarded as leader of the free world. There has always been reservation to it, seeing us as leader, because admired is not the same as feared, and respect is earned not commanded. Power is an element of leadership, but brandishing power not. Being a “superpower” carries enormous risk and responsibility, because arrogance and bullies are hated, detested, contemned. Goes whether it’s business, military, nation, school, classroom, family, playground, government. 

In history every “superpower” eventually has come down, some brought down, some just disintegrated. It has been sad to me, and distressing, to observe our decline in my lifetime. We were never perfect “within,” but there were years in my memory when America seemed like the place to go, a land of freedom, opportunity, goodness. Time was when people were sneaking in, nobody was trying to escape America, and sneaking in to work and live and love, not to kill and maim and hate. Lederer & Burdick’s Ugly American was always around but not always our embodiment. That has shifted. We have become second rate and embraced it; worse, relishing it. Not in a power sense, but in a human sense. We are the bully, the buffoon, the boor, we are Moe of Calvin and Hobbes. Comic, our political circus is a laughing stock of classless clowns. It’s time to be ashamed, but we've lost the sensitivity to discern that.


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