In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards. ― Bertrand Russell
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the melting pot.
Those who think America can thrive as a 'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians." JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions. ― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself. What it does worst is understand others. - Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States. - Porfirio Diaz
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the central role that music played in people’s everyday lives." JOIN THE DISCUSSION
America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization. - Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce. - Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood. - Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word. - Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated -- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause taken so long to gain momentum?" JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the United States reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. - Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did. - Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it is a fact. - Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American, than a snuff-box from an emperor. - Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire. But it didn’t know what an empire was. It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations. - Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. - Alexis de Tocqueville
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country." JOIN THE DISCUSSION
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams then you must still regard America today with the same naive enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World. - Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American. - Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world; With something good and bad of every land. - Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?" JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language. - Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America. - James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years. - Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure." JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris; when bad Americans die they go to America. - Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself. - Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair. - Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else. - Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans is the way parents obey their children. - Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be. - John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy. - Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived. He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races. - Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those who have seen America only in their dreams. - Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons. - Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. ― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America. One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy. ― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis, the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain. ― Roberto Bolaño
There are more than two answers to every questions. I see such a fierce division between left and right, with too many issues being glossed over in the us-versus-them mentality. Does a social conservative really need to be fiscally conservative, anti-gun control, and Protestant? There seem to be so many assumptions about what people believe based on the political party they vote for, and not enough diversity and debate. Culture isn't meant to be a rigid two-party structure. There are so many more possibilities than Democrat-left and Republican-right.
The best summary I've seen of this is Jon Gabriel's sarcastic tweet in response to the tragic San Bernardino shooting a few days ago. (It could be just as easily reversed to satirize the "other side.")
I’m sick of these white male NRA Republicans and their mass shootings beca… um, Saeed Farook? Hey, let’s not vilify an entire group.
I feel it may be worth bringing to light a perspective on what is a left-wing and right-wing government. It's too often, especially during election season, that I hear of "the left vs the right" in American politics. The question is, what is a left-wing in American politics? The left-wing moniker is often applied to the Democrats, but this focus on a two-party system does not include a left-wing ideology. Socialism in the country is still somewhat a touchy subject in the public, despite the progressive policies of the Democrats - they still lean towards right-wing politics, just not as far right as the Republicans.
In the American spectrum, what constitutes as a left-wing government could be perceived as merely less-right than the Republicans. Technically, it is never a "Left vs. Right" situation, but more of a "Lesser-Right vs. Far-Right" situation. Take for instance Canadian politics, which promotes a somewhat more diverse selection of political parties in election time. The New Democratic Party (NDP) would fit the bill as a left-wing political party, and yet many policies would differ from that of the Democrats.
I agree entirely, though, that the whole system is over-simplified, perhaps for mass appeal. Politics are treated like sport, with citizens choosing teams and loyalties when the focus should be on policy. The "left" or "right" only serve to place a party or voter on a spectrum, when the focus should be narrowed and focused on policies. It needs more intellectualism involved as opposed to simplification - but politicians would want simplification to appeal to voters.
The over-simplification of left-right that you're speaking of, from my experience, seems to be a predominantly American issue. I grew up in England, and over there there are numerous parties that represent ideologies on all points of the political spectrum. The same is true, at least from the sporadic news on European politics that I consume(d), of most of the major countries in Europe. Thing is, this causes a major issue stemming from simple mathematics: the more parties, the more choices, the harder to achieve a majority.
A perfect example which I'd encourage looking up is the situation of Nick Clegg and the Liberal-Democrat party he led. They forced into a coalition with the Conservative party (yes, that's right, they sound like polar opposites) in 2010 in order to create a majority government; within a few years, Clegg and his smaller party within the coalition had discovered it was impossible to effectively implement any of their own policies that the Conservative majority disapproved of (which were numerous). This culminated in the raising of tuition fees, despite Nick Clegg's sincere promises during the election that he would abolish or lower fees. It was one of his main selling points actually, and completely steamrolled by Cameron's majority. I don't think I could do justice to just how much vitriol from the English public the following video provoked:
Perhaps Americans saw this system regularly struggling in European countries, and this resulted in the far simpler, but far more effective, dual-party system. The problem is, in my opinion, this doesn't really change much - those who would've been in their own splinter parties in Europe, in America are seen as "rogue Democrats/Republicans", particularly if they hold a few views that conflict with the officially sanctioned views of the party. In this sense, the American political "split" is entirely semantic. After all, it's silly to think that Americans are monolithic in their political views in comparison to Europeans. The main use of the two-party system, then, is to provide a guarantee of a majority government. (Sorry if I'm applying terminology incorrectly, I'm not particularly well versed in American politics.)
In regards to your last point Brian, you've hit the nail on the head. Mass appeal of politics would be a beautiful thing, were it not for the apparent lack of thought that the American public seem to be putting into what they're supporting. That, however, is not really anything to do with over-simplification, but instead relies on the American masses taking a real, not superficial, interest in the politics of their own nation. Confuses me why they wouldn't, but then, I'm not American.