We’re all fans of the U.S.A. (I friended them on Facebook!) here at TwShiloh HQ, but the Mrs. gets a bit annoyed when people start tripping over themselves describing America as a perfect diamond surrounded by 6 billion uncivilized, commie primates.
Well, Democracy in America addresses the issue of freedom in this post and point out that if you try to look at the question with actual data we may be in the top tier but we ain’t number 1 (We’re #30! We’re #30!). Now, Freedom Houses methodology may be too lefty/socialist (after all, they do consider civil liberties a social good!) and let’s face it, these rankings are a bit silly if you try to look at them too closely but this idea that America is beyond reproach is a bit silly as well.
Allow me to sum up with the words of the Economist:
The Economist remains bullish on America’s economy and polity, whatever frustrations we may have. America is exceptional, in its power and its dynamism. Meanwhile, read all of Freedom House’s narratives and you’ll find that there is no country report without criticism…The blanket statement that America is the “most free, most democratic” country on earth strikes the serious comparativist as what it is: not an empirical fact but as an article of faith, one that needs to be accepted before a true patriot can go on to make minor, qualified criticism. This is not clear thinking, and…no argument based on it can be solid either. Nor is it real patriotism: a real patriot is an honest critic.
And now, Colbert’s take on the issue…