Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Contemporary America

For this week’s blog I chose a website for an organisation called the Democracy Project; their mission is to support pro-democracy by establishing networks worldwide and also organising on a local level. I chose it because it displays patriotism and supports the main ideologies of America (democracy and freedom) whilst also showing concern for the direction America is heading in; I think that this is many Americans attitude towards contemporary America.

It says ‘America today faces unique threats to her continued internal stability and prosperity because of a failure to defend and pass on a civic spirit based on patriotism, education, obligation, and opportunity’; therefore they feel that America will decline because of its loss of many of the ideas it was originally founded on. It says that the treatment of new immigrants reflects this, especially the lack of good assimilation programs; this means that they don’t get enough opportunities in order to make a good life for themselves in America. This issue is particularly important to contemporary America because of the growing (legal and illegal) immigration rates, especially for Hispanics, and the question of America’s identity. They say, ‘by short changing these groups upon whom the future of our nation rests, we dilute our identity as a people bound not by race or ethnicity but by a common love of liberty. We risk our future as a nation of free men and women who, within a pluralistic society, exercise our individual pursuits within the parameters of a common culture and state’.

The website also describes the negative way people now view contemporary America: ‘In place of the image of America as a beacon of freedom and hope, radical nationalists and Islamists have portrayed America as an imperial power bent on selfish domination of the world’s peoples and resources’. It suggests that this is affecting America’s image abroad and causing self-doubt at home. As well as this, it causes other nations to accept dictatorship rather than choosing democracy. In some ways, this reflects the importance of America’s image and influence worldwide. Indeed, the organisation itself shows the concept of American exceptionalism; it wants to strengthen democracy worldwide. It says, ‘liberty is best attained and preserved when government respects the right of citizens to live under the rule of law, elect their leaders, speak their minds, worship as they please, and own private property, we support efforts to strengthen and establish market-based democracies around the globe’; this shows that they want the world to live under American ideologies.

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