Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Medved on American Imperialism

Michael Medved writes an excellent essay countering the specious claims of American imperialism-
"...but hardly justify film-maker Michael Moore’s proclamation that the United States constitutes an “Evil Empire” resembling the mass-murdering excesses of the old Soviet Union. (“One Evil Empire down and one more to go,” the portly provocateur declares on camera in his little-seen, America-bashing 1998 documentary, “The Big One.”)"
Medved uses the old 'It's a Wonderful Life' analogy to end his piece.
[...]The best way to put America’s place in the world in proper context is to call to mind a famous sequence from the most beloved Hollywood movie of them all. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” small town banker George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) contemplates a Christmas Eve suicide before guardian angel Clarence provides the ultimate life-affirming vision. He provides the disheartened hero with a dark, dysfunctional view of the town of Bedford Falls if he’d never drawn breath, as the community would have taken shape without his good deeds and benevolent influence. With that sharper perspective, George can go home to his loving family to celebrate the holiday with gratitude and joy.

Those who condemn the United States should perform a thought experiment involving a global “Bedford Falls Vision.” Imagine that the United States had never become a world power, or never existed at all. Would the ideals of democracy and free markets wield the same power in the world? Would murderous dictatorships have claimed more victims – or fewer? Would the community of nations strain under the lash of Nazism, or Communism, or some vicious combination of both? Would multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy flourish anywhere on earth without inspiration from the ground-breaking example of the USA? Would the threat of jihadist violence and resurgent Islamic fundamentalist menace humanity more grievously, or not at all?

No one can provide definitive, authoritative answers to such hypotheticals, but merely confronting the questions should help put the American role in more complete context. As George Bailey’s view of an alternate reality convinced him “It’s a Wonderful Life,” even the briefest contemplation of a world without America should persuade us that “It’s a Wonderful Nation” – in fact, the Republic rightly recognized as the Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth.
Michael Medved's last 4 or 5 articles have been most excellent sources of information written with style.

No comments: