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At war with itself

Dear Editor:

America is at war — with itself! At one time hardly anyone dissented from the idea that America was different from other nations; that it is known for its “exceptionalism”. It earned this label because of that famous phrase “all men are created equal”, and that God gave us certain rights as human beings. All class distinctions and hereditory status would be erased leaving individuals free to act and be judged on their merits alone. Our Founders wanted this for our new nation.

This attitude called the people of other countries to come and share in the limitless opportunities offered. This was liberty to be enjoyed; and we all have stories to tell of our ancestors and the new way of life they experienced. The Free Market was new and people embraced it.

Surprisingly, this idea was criticized by European rulers, poets and philosphers questioning whether it could be a force for good or evil. And in our own country as early as the early 1920s capitalism was criticized, and even today in the current climate we hear “in-equality” comes from it.

Well, to that rebuke Norman Podhoretz, an author of twelve books on America has this to say:

“Far from being self-evident, this assumption stems from a highly questionable concept of social justice — one that rules out or minimizes the role played by talent, character, ambition, initiative, daring, work and spirit in producing unequal outcomes in “the pursuit of happiness.”

The two men now running for President are on opposite sides. President Obama has repeated that he wants to fundamentally transform our system, while Mitt Romney wants to return to the principles that did make this nation “exceptional.”

Mildred L. Para
Evergreen Park