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Nickdfresh
08-12-2007, 09:59 AM
Aug 9th 2007
From The Economist (http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9621579) print edition


Probably—but not in the way many foreigners (and some Americans) hope


FOR George Bush, the presidency is becoming a tragic tale of unintended consequences. In foreign policy, the man who sought to transform Iraq, the Middle East and America's reputation has indeed had revolutionary effects, though not the ones he was aiming for. Now something similar seems to be happening in domestic politics. The most conservative president in recent history, a man who sought to turn his victories of 2000 and 2004 into a Republican hegemony, may well end up driving the Western world's most impressive political machine off a cliff.

That machine has put Republicans in the White House in seven of the past ten contests. At times it has seemed as if the Democrats (oddly, given their status as the less Godly party) have had to rely on divine intervention to get elected. Watergate helped Jimmy Carter in 1976, just as the end of the cold war and Ross Perot's disruptive third-party campaign helped Bill Clinton in 1992. Better organised and more intellectually inventive than their “liberal” rivals, American conservatives have controlled the agenda even when they have lost: Mr Clinton is best remembered for balancing the budget and passing welfare reform, both conservative achievements. In a country where one in three people see themselves as conservatives (against one in five as liberals) and where the South and West have grown far more quickly than the liberal north-east, it is easy to see why Mr Bush and his strategist, Karl Rove, dreamed of banishing Democrats from power for a generation.

Now they would settle for a lot less. Having recaptured Congress last year, the Democrats are on course to retake the presidency in 2008. Only one Republican, Rudy Giuliani, looks competitive in the polls, and his campaign is less slick than those of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Voters now favour generic Democratic candidates over Republican ones by wide margins. Democrats are more trusted even on traditional conservative issues, such as national security, and they have opened up a wide gap among the young, among independents and among Latinos (see article).

For this, he is not guilty

The easy scapegoat is Mr Bush himself. During his presidency, the words Katrina, Rumsfeld, Abramoff, Guantánamo and Libby have become shorthand for incompetence, cronyism or extremism. Indeed, the failings of Mr Bush's coterie are oddly reassuring for some conservatives: once he has gone, they can regroup, as they did after his father was ousted in 1992.

Yet this President Bush is not a good scapegoat. Rather than betraying the right, he has given it virtually everything it craved, from humongous tax cuts to conservative judges. Many of the worst errors were championed by conservative constituencies. Some of the arrogance in foreign policy stems from the armchair warriors of neoconservatism; the ill-fated attempt to “save” the life of the severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo was driven by the Christian right. Even Mr Bush's apparently oxymoronic trust in “big-government conservatism” is shared in practice by most Republicans in Congress.

From this perspective, the worrying parallel for the right is not 1992 but the liberal overreach of the 1960s. By embracing leftish causes that were too extreme for the American mainstream—from unfettered abortion to affirmative action—the Democrats cast themselves into the political wilderness. Now the American people seem to be reacting to conservative over-reach by turning left. More want universal health insurance; more distrust force as a way to bring about peace; more like greenery; ever more dislike intolerance on social issues.

Be careful what you wish for

So some sort of shift seems to be under way. Would it be a change for the better? The Economist has never made any secret of its preference for the Republican Party's individualistic “western” wing rather than the moralistic “southern” one that Mr Bush has come to typify. It is hard to imagine Ronald Reagan sponsoring a federal amendment banning gay marriage or limiting federal funding for stem-cell research. Yet Mr Bush's departure hardly guarantees a move back to the centre. Social liberals like Mr Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger are in a minority on the right. On the one issue where Mr Bush fought the intolerant wing of his party, immigration, the nativists won—and perhaps lost the Latino vote for a generation.

In terms of foreign policy, America's allies, especially in Europe, would also be unwise to start celebrating, for two reasons. First, some of the changes that would stem from a more Democratic America would be unwelcome. The Democrats are moving to the left not just on health care, but also on trade; and a more protectionist America would soon make the world's poor regret Mr Bush's passing. Similarly, many Europeans may yearn for a less interventionist America; but an isolationist superpower could be much more frightening.

Second, America, even if it shifts to the left, will still be a conservative force on the international stage. Mrs Clinton might be portrayed as a communist on talk radio in Kansas, but set her alongside France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's David Cameron or any other supposed European conservative, and on virtually every significant issue Mrs Clinton is the more right-wing. She also mentions God more often than the average European bishop. As for foreign policy, the main Democratic candidates are equally staunch in their support of Israel; none of them has ruled out attacking Iran; Mr Obama might take a shot at Pakistan; and few of them want to cede power to multilateral organisations.

One finding that stands out in the polls is that most Americans distrust government strongly. Forty years ago they turned against a leftish elite trying to boss them around; now they have had to endure a right-wing version. In democracies political revolutions usually become obvious only in retrospect. In 1968, with America stuck in another bruising war, few liberals saw Richard Nixon's southern strategy as part of a long-term turn to the right. All that was clear then was that most Americans urgently wanted a change of direction. That is also true today.


Copyright © 2007 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

Gen. Sandworm
08-13-2007, 04:20 AM
Interesting read there!

Eagle
08-13-2007, 07:29 PM
Just one correction, America is a continent, a continent divided in three subcontinentes (North America, Central America and South America). America goes from Alaska in the North, to the Tierra del Fuego Island, near the Antarctic circle, and has a lot of countries in its territory.

Please make the difference when you are talking about the United States, and the American continent.

Regards

Nickdfresh
08-14-2007, 10:38 AM
I didn't write, nor entitle, the article...

Rising Sun*
08-14-2007, 03:40 PM
I didn't write, nor entitle, the article...

Well, that wouldn't relieve you of collective responsibility, being a Yanqui. :D

Except that America is not a continent as described by Eagle.

Geographically, the Americas comprise the separate continents of North America and South America.

In common usage, America is understood by everyone on the planet to refer to the United States of America, in the same way that Britain stands for Great Britain. This has been so for at least a couple of centuries.

It's rather pointless to start demanding pedantic changes now, particularly when they're based on geographic misconceptions.

Eagle
08-14-2007, 10:31 PM
Wrong. America is the continent. With the time, the United States of America (of that continent), were called America by the occidental civilization in order to make shorter the designation UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name AMERICA (For the navigator Americo Vespucio) was given to the entire continent from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, subdivided in three subcontinents, as I've said.

That of the Americas born after the occidental civilization started to name AMERICA to only a country from the real AMERICA, a continent.

Rising Sun*
08-15-2007, 12:21 AM
Wrong.America is the continent.

Not in conventional geography, which regards the continents as Africa,
Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America

e.g. http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-continent-map.htm



The name AMERICA (For the navigator Americo Vespucio)

That's debated. Also, his name was probably Amerigo Vespucci



...was given to the entire continent from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego ...

Quite an achivement in 1507 when the area you refer to hadn't been discovered by Europeans.

http://www.uhmc.sunysb.edu/surgery/america.html



... subdivided in three subcontinents

Not in conventional geography.

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-continent-map.htm


Historical usage and development is irrelevant to modern usage. America is understood, at least outside your region, to refer to the United States of America.


You might want to let your Secretariat of Tourism know it's geographically confused, as it thinks Argentina is in South America, too.


Location, area and frontiers
Located in South America

http://www.turismo.gov.ar/eng/menu.htm Under Infiormation --> General information


Even worse, so does the Argentine government.


Situación Geográfica
La República Argentina está ubicada en el hemisferio sur y occidental. Su situación, dentro de América del Sur, le permite una adecuada vinculación dentro del marco regional.
http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/paginas.dhtml?pagina=75

The bold section is, in English: Its situation, within South America

Eagle
08-15-2007, 06:45 PM
That page sais that Argentina is in South America, that's a fact. Where it says that Argentina is in the South American continent?

Let's see what Wikipedia (a non corrupted information, not edited by anyone) says about America:

America is a continent which is extended from a great part of the Western hemisfery from the Earth. It extends from the Glacial Arctic Ocean, until Cape Horn in the South, with the confluence of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that delimite with the continent. With a surface of 42.262.142km2 is the second ground mass from the world, covering the 8.3% of the total surface, and the 28.4 of the emerged ground. Moreover, it concentrates more than the 14% of the human population.
Because of its great size and its geography characteristics, America is traditionally divided in the subcontinents North America and South America, although other geography students consider to Central America as a third subcontinent as the other named. ....

América es un continente que se extiende en gran parte del Hemisferio Occidental de la Tierra. Se extiende desde el Océano Glacial Ártico por el norte hasta el Cabo de Hornos por el sur, en la confluencia de los océanos Atlántico y Pacífico que delimitan al continente por el este y el oeste, respectivamente. Con una superficie de 42.262.142 km², es la segunda masa de tierra más grande del planeta, cubriendo el 8,3% de la superficie total del planeta y el 28,4% de la tierra emergida, y además concentra cerca del 14% de la población humana.
"Debido a su gran tamaño y sus características geográficas, América es dividida tradicionalmente en América del Norte y en América del Sur, aunque algunos geógrafos consideran a América Central como un subcontinente al igual que los anteriores. Atendiendo a sus características culturales se distingue América Anglosajona, el Caribe no latino y América Latina."


Or do something easier. Put in the image searcher from Google the word AMERICAN CONTINENT, or AMERICA CONTINENT, or AMERICA CONTINENTE and you will see what you find.


Regards

Rising Sun*
08-15-2007, 07:42 PM
That page sais that Argentina is in South America, that's a fact. Where it says that Argentina is in the South American continent?

Let's see what Wikipedia (a non corrupted information, not edited by anyone) says about America:

America is a continent which is extended from a great part of the Western hemisfery from the Earth. It extends from the Glacial Arctic Ocean, until Cape Horn in the South, with the confluence of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that delimite with the continent. With a surface of 42.262.142km2 is the second ground mass from the world, covering the 8.3% of the total surface, and the 28.4 of the emerged ground. Moreover, it concentrates more than the 14% of the human population.
Because of its great size and its geography characteristics, America is traditionally divided in the subcontinents North America and South America, although other geography students consider to Central America as a third subcontinent as the other named. ....

América es un continente que se extiende en gran parte del Hemisferio Occidental de la Tierra. Se extiende desde el Océano Glacial Ártico por el norte hasta el Cabo de Hornos por el sur, en la confluencia de los océanos Atlántico y Pacífico que delimitan al continente por el este y el oeste, respectivamente. Con una superficie de 42.262.142 km², es la segunda masa de tierra más grande del planeta, cubriendo el 8,3% de la superficie total del planeta y el 28,4% de la tierra emergida, y además concentra cerca del 14% de la población humana.
"Debido a su gran tamaño y sus características geográficas, América es dividida tradicionalmente en América del Norte y en América del Sur, aunque algunos geógrafos consideran a América Central como un subcontinente al igual que los anteriores. Atendiendo a sus características culturales se distingue América Anglosajona, el Caribe no latino y América Latina."


Or do something easier. Put in the image searcher from Google the word AMERICAN CONTINENT, or AMERICA CONTINENT, or AMERICA CONTINENTE and you will see what you find.


Regards

I guess I'll have to surrender now that Wikipedia has been cited for the definitive answer. Everyone knows it's the most authoritative source on the planet for everything. :rolleyes:

It's remarkable that professional geographers have been deluded for so long into thinking that North and South America were separate continents, when the correct position is staring them in the face in Wiki.

For your sake, I hope anybody proposing to nuke America doesn't rely on Wiki for the areas to be targeted.

I'll still call the United States of America America, and the people who live there Americans. Calling them "United States of Americans" doesn't trip off the tongue so easily. It's also a grammatical impossibility.

It's been fun, but I think we've exhausted this off topic excursion. I certainly have.

Panzerknacker
08-15-2007, 07:47 PM
It's been fun, but I think we've exhausted this off topic excursion


If is exhausted we can go back to the original topic now. :rolleyes:

Are the Unites States of America turning left?



Only one Republican, Rudy Giuliani, looks competitive in the polls, and his campaign is less slick than those of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Thay guy Obama....strange name for an U.S president :mrgreen:

tankgeezer
08-15-2007, 09:18 PM
Rudy is a front runner to many Americans, and is a notable figure due to his competent handling of emergency activities in New York city following the attacks on the towers.
He would make a good choice for President.
Mitt Romney is another man of substance in the campaigns, he is very conservative, and service oriented. He has a well defined moral core, which is something not always available from Democrat candidates of late, (and some Republicans as well) Mitt would make another good choice. Fred Thompson would have been the man, but his health is in question, and he is said to be pulling out of the race. (I personally prefer Thompson)
The race between Hillary, and Obama may see some interesting twists and turns, with Obama having a greater appeal than is reported in the media. hillary has some serious baggage, (Bill being the heaviest, and the heavy handed push to bring health care under direct Gov't control coming in second) But its not over till its over, we will see an interesting spectacle unfold in the next year, So get your big bowl of hot buttery popcorn, and settle in by the tv.

Nickdfresh
08-20-2007, 04:47 AM
Rudy is a front runner to many Americans, and is a notable figure due to his competent handling of emergency activities in New York city following the attacks on the towers.
...

Especially according to Rudy Giuliani.:) However, there are numerous NYC firefighters that have a very different opinion of him.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/07/05/giuliani_watchers_wonder_if_he_will_overplay_911_c ard/

tankgeezer
08-21-2007, 01:00 AM
So I have heard. Though as the election will be national, the influence of one state may not amount to that much. Most conservatives I know liked Fred Thompson over Rudi, but it doesnt look as though he will run the race due to cancer.
I personally do not participate in party politics, I choose whomever I feel is best for the job at the time.