Big Ideas

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and author, The Idea that is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (Perseus Books Group 2007), says we need to return to principles on which the United States was established, such as liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility.

The Idea that is America is available for purchase at


Anne-Marie Slaughter

Comments [5]

Gary Krasner from Holliswood

continued from previous:

Bush is very "liberal" on immigration. He was acting like a liberal on Iraq too. There was a time---maybe during the days of General Pinochet?---when toppling a genocidal mass murderer was considered Wilsonian (to refer to your think tank). Yet instead, it was Saddam's buddy Chiroc was cast as the humanitarian, while he was taking oil-for-food bribes to keep Saddam in power. Even you couldn't dredge up a moral lapse on Iraq, and instread observed that it was poorly executed.

Same with global warming. The UN determined that IF kyoto was ratified by all, the amount of climate cooling over the subsequent 50 years would have been too small to acurately measure. something like 0.005 of a degree! Imagine a dummy like Bush making the more practical decision: To pursue economic growth to ensure a greater chance of finding technological remedies, plus making poorer people more wealthier to protect themselves from climate change.

British historian Neill Ferguson is right: the US is the only empire that doesn't wish to be one. Why can't we have ethical values, pursue our interests, and not give a damn that we are not loved by the nations we push around??

We used to do that BEFORE Bush was President.

May. 29 2007 03:12 PM
Gary Krasner from Holliswood--Queens

Ms. Slaughter is not correctly perceiving where the real change in values is occurring. It is not the government of the US which has changed, but rather it's the prevailing political philosophy here and abroad that has changed. People now are adopting a more "multilateralist liberal" philosophy.

A few examples might suffice, as well as define the term I'm using:

Let's start with WWII. Roosevelt was far worse on privacy and civil liberties than Bush. Confinement of japanese-americans; wiretaps without warrants; etc. He would have jailed Dana Priest, along with her pulitzer prize for reporting on the existence and location of american prisons. If a mortar attack on one of those prisons resulted in the death of a GI, then Roosevelt would have had Priest executed for treason.

Take also for example the poll on immigration that Brian mentioned earlier. We no longer ask, as Charles Krauthammer had last week, about the value of a scientist immigrating to the US, versus a farm hand or landscaper. Should we not, as a nation, seek the best and the brightest? Instead, we wish to insure the livelihood and other "rights" of people who are not sovereigns of our states, and not subject to our laws. The bill in Congress now doesn't even bother to assess how many Mexicans actually WANT to be US citizens, yet that is the assumption of the legislation.

Where's the harm? (As Brian asked one caller last week) The harm is to the children of US citizens sitting in classrooms with 45 kids in one class. It's to the American who worked and studied to become a master carpenter and inched up to $25 per hour, but who now must settle for $16 per hour, because migrant farm workers are moving into more skilled areas of employment. Brian Lehrer's job is safe. Many people think their job is safe, witness that poll that Brian quoted today. Waiting for the tipping point will be too late to act.

continued on next post. . .

May. 29 2007 03:12 PM
Jander from NYC

P.S. Scott Ritter points out for sure that Iran presents no IMMEDIATE THREAT to the US or the region whatsoever, how can she say it does? What does she have to back this up? Do we need another catastrophic war???

May. 29 2007 11:45 AM
Jander from NYC


I wonder if Ms. Slaughter has heard Scott Ritter lately on his view on Iran? He HAS ACTUALLY BEEN THERE and talked to the administration. How can she sit there and say we need to "tighten all the screws," have more sanctions, etc? when she has not been there?

May. 29 2007 11:44 AM
Deborah Alfano from new jersey

We always talk about our American values. Do other cultures always have the same American values to the same degree we have? We can liberate Irag but does the Iraq culture have the value liberty and know what to do with that liberty?

May. 29 2007 11:21 AM

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