September 3, 2019


Things Are Big in America (JONAH GOLDBERG, August 22, 2019, National Review)

America is also large of spirit. Foreigners know this and will often tell you this. Abroad, Americans stand out so much, they almost glow. What Texans and Californians are to other Americans, Americans are to much of the world. Our flintiest New Englanders are like cruise directors compared with many Eastern Europeans. We're a deeply charitable people -- far more charitable than any European country, no matter how you measure it.

We've got the biggest businesses, or at least the biggest number of them. We also have the biggest amount of the biggest stuff -- whether it's the world's largest ball of string or the solar system's biggest piñata.

And just like a giant piñata, we contain multitudes. Bigness doesn't necessarily mean sameness. We're generous but quick-tempered, moralistic yet forgiving. (We declared war against the British and then became BFFs. We duked it -- and in one case nuked it -- out with the Axis powers and now we're all buds, too.) Just as you can hit a piñata from any angle and get some reward, America is big enough to be vulnerable to almost any criticism. But those criticisms require focusing on the negatives to the exclusion of the lion's share of positives.

America may be more than just an idea, but man, what an idea. 

Posted by at September 3, 2019 12:00 AM