A lot of triumphalists want to keep alive the idea that America is at the forefront of everything, the same rah-rah spirit that’s inflated our egos and sometimes has us coming off downright piggish in our world views.
But comic observer Bill Maher disagrees.
“Really?” says Bill.
“Always waving the big foam number one finger.
“We’re not number one in most things.
“We’re number one in military. We’re number one in money.
“We’re number one in fat toddlers, meth labs, and people we send to prison.
“But we’re not number one in literacy, in money spent on education.
“We’re not even number one in social mobility.
“Social mobility means basically the American Dream, the ability of one generation to do better than the [one before it].
“That’s like Sweden coming in tenth in Swedish meatballs!”
According to Larry King‘s book Truth Be Told, the above remarks were made in response to Mitt Romney‘s book, No Apology: The Case For American Greatness.
But Romney’s book actually acknowledges that America’s lost its tracking in certain areas and proposes ways to fix that so we can be strong again (including higher starting pay for teachers).
Could he and Bill Maher actually be on the same plane?
And more importantly, where is it landing?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2012