Sunday, January 21, 2018

If It Weren’t For The Constitution, America Would Be A ‘Sh-thole’ Country, Too

President Trump was right that some countries are ‘sh-tholes,’ but we should remember that America is different because it was fortunate enough to be born free.
President Trump’s remark last week about “shithole” countries was widely decried as racist and offensive, and although his phrasing was crude and unnecessary, Trump wasn’t wrong about the actual countries in question. Haiti, El Salvador, and many countries in Africa—and all over the world, for that matter—are indeed a horrible mess by any objective measure.
But they’re not this way because of their people. They’re this way because of their corrupt rulers and shitty governments. It’s not really about America at all. Any country without constitutional, limited government will end up a shithole, no matter who lives there.
Trump is probably incapable of articulating that distinction, but it needs to be made. America isn’t great or exceptional because Americans are uniquely virtuous or somehow better than people from poor countries. America is exceptional because of our system of government and the constitutional order our Founding Fathers bequeathed us. That’s it. We have that system because everything aligned at just the right moment for the Founders, who brought forth a new nation, conceived in liberty. In that sense, we Americans are especially fortunate. Time and circumstance, not the singular virtue of the American people, conspired to make America uniquely free.
When we talk about “American exceptionalism,” that’s what we’re talking about. Americans, like every other people, are subject to the vicissitudes and weaknesses of human nature. We’re not special in that regard. Writing about the character of America’s young democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville saw that Americans were different than the peoples of Europe, who arrived at democracy through violent revolution that “lead them to shun each other and perpetuate in a state of equality the animosities that the state of inequality created. The great advantage of the Americans is that they have arrived at a state of democracy without having to endure a democratic revolution, and that they are born equal instead of becoming so.”
Read the rest from John Daniel Davidson HERE at The Federalist.

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