AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (7 comments)

  1. Glenn Koons

    Would it not have been wonderful if W had said, in light of our recent Islamist attacks, we ought to stop all immigration for 5 years and stop all Muslim student immigration? Can you imagine what the MSM would yell? Well, Bob Beckel said it on Fox. Yep. Liberalism has been killing all Americans with their stupid domestic and international policies and now even Beckel wants an end to immigration for a period of time. I suggest the Pubs go with that and watch them hold the House and win the Senate in 2014. Any voter now wanting to vote for another liberal progressive socialist Dem in 2014 is simply putting America into jeopardy, violence, Islamist horrors, more Obamacare stupidity. If we lose our Republic, it will because of our PC views and idiocy in electing even more Obamas. Oh and note, W’s poll numbers are coming back. Obama’s are slipping and they should. He is the worse horror as a Prez we have ever had including Grant, Harding, Wilson.

  2. A national movie critic wrote an essay a number ofyears ago where he pointed out a fundamental change in movies that occurred during the turmoil of the 1960s. He said that prior to the 60s, the single overarching theme of movies was “do your duty”. He said that changed in the 60s and the theme of movies changed to “follow your heart”. I guess you could interpret the former to mean a responsbility to live up to societal standards while the latter would be to “do your own thing”. This makes a lot of sense as the 60s were the turnpoint where all that came before (i.e. the system) was rejected as racist, sexist, imperialistic, etc. and the new ethic was one of pursuing love and other vaguely defined goals…as long as they “felt” good.

    1. Nicely put, JohnR22. The 60s also marked the turning point from a national credo of earned success to one of learned helplessness. While I hope that there will always be the opportunity to earn success in the US, our national center of gravity is sliding toward learned helplessness.

  3. It would seem that the word “Duty” is not used by some presidents because they either do not feel they have a duty to the people or they do not understand what that duty might be. For example, there is the current situation where Mr. Obama came up with the idea of the sequestration. When the sequestration was embraced by the Republicans, Mr. Obama became quite angry and predicted all types of dire consequences should the congress not reconsider the sequestration. When this turned out to be bluster, Mr. Obama embarked upon a new precedence of directing his administration to ensure the sequestration effects would consistent with those predicted by Mr. Obama. To demonstrate his desire to punish America, Mr. Obama made it clear that he would veto any bill passed by congress that would give government agencies the flexability to make the sequestration cuts less onerous. In this case, it is clear why Mr. Obama never uses the word “duty” with respoect to himself or his office. The reason is that he has no concept of what his duty to the American peple might be.

  4. Davis John

    I don’t think President Obama thinks he has any duties. Celebrities don’t have duties (the duties of worship belong to their subjects).

  5. Had John McCain won the election over Obama, I think the term ‘duty’ would have returned to its earlier prominence.

  6. john werneken

    Consider the media and the public mind. Once Presidential thoughts filtered out by letter, word of mouth, journal, and by reports of deeds. Latter by mass media first printed later broadcast. Now we have a sort of anarchic narrow-casting, with the perverse characteristic that most all the inlets of the pond are filled with their own self-validating creatures.

    Presidents communicate differently now as do journalists, scholars, and the rest of us. There isn’t much interchange between folks of different views that rises above invective. When I’m leaning in with invective myself, it tends to be when the channel is virtually unanimously of the other opinion and my excuse is to just rudely suggest they might be mistaken.

    I think there very much still is duty, both in the traditional sense and in a newer development, loyal witness to one’s world view. I often fell public action is only that witness-bearing, with no connection to any actual objective thing or action.

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