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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fareed Zakaria to America: You’re Not so Great

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria was on Charlie Rose recently and made the claim that America has become “antiquated” and the system our founding documents created is “dysfunctional.”

Zakaria begins by adopting the epic straw man of an arrogant American who thinks America is 100% perfect. Using the pronoun “we think” repeatedly he asserts:

Whenever we have a problem, we tend to think that our Constitution is the best ever created in the history of the world. The people who wrote the Constitution were demi-gods, it never needs to be changed. Our political system is the best in the world. The truth is we have a pretty complicated, antiquated system that’s grown pretty dysfunctional.

Wow, when you put it like that Mr. Zakaria, it’s a wonder we even made it out of the 19th century. Let’s go point by point.

First, the reason Americans revere the Constitution was that it, along with the Declaration of Independence, represented the first time people threw off the chains of a tyrannical government and truly put power in the hands of ordinary people. It was an intellectual revolution more than a physical one. From 1776 and 1789 on, numerous countries have taken our system and used it as a template for change in their countries. We have good reason to be proud.

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