General Question

avalmez's avatar

What's your opinion of the USA as a world leader versus past world leaders/empires?

Asked by avalmez (1606 points ) April 21st, 2009

While a related and interesting question might be regarding the future of the USA as a world leader, this question is about how you think the USA has performed as a world leader versus those of the past.

Overall, is the USA a more evolved world leader than those of yesteryear? Or, USA – same ole’ shit, different day?

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46 Answers

bea2345's avatar

From the point of view of the led, it is pretty much the same as before. Except, and this is very important, we are much better informed than our ancestors. It makes a difference when you can identify the doors to the trap you are in.

avalmez's avatar

But, many past world leaders failed to evolve and so lost their leadership. I think it’s important to take into account that, well, we have had our faults, but we’ve continued to evolve and advance the principals of our declaration of independence and consitution notwithstanding the fact that even today, we recognize we have not held to them perfectly. But, we question ourselves i think more than the rest of the world questions (and second queses) us and take action on our conclusions.

SeventhSense's avatar

I mean as bad as we are I don’t think there is any past world leader that can compare to the precedence we have set. Even our involvements in wars almost always end with us rebuilding a country’s economy and infrastructure. Japan and Germany are only two examples. We are consistently villified and rightfully so in some instances of commericial interests but there is no nation on earth which has contributed to innovations in industry, science and the arts that we have.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I give the US a 6 out of 10. The next 10 years will decide if we become an 8 or a 4.

avalmez's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic what past leader would you give a 6 or more to and why?

avalmez's avatar

@SeventhSense the only point i would differ on is where the arts are concerned we’ve made our contributions, but jazz and tap dance are the only generally accepted american contributions to the arts in an innovative sense that i know of.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@avalmez I think Nelson Mandela is above a 6.

bea2345's avatar

@avalmez, @SeventhSense, That has always been a strength of the US: toleration of differences, to the extent that the right of free speech is in your Constitution. This has had the (unintended?) consequence of showing the rest of the world how and why your system works, simply because of the human tendency to proselytize, to spread the word, as it were. (Much of my childhood was spent in the library of the U.S. Information Service.) Only the Americans would have thought of making the Internet freely accessible. We, the ones outside, are far better informed than our predecessors, thanks to American know-how and enterprise. But that does not mean that the US is a pussycat. It is still the 500 pound gorilla.

avalmez's avatar

how so? compare and contrast to Lincoln perhaps? Mandala is a great guy, but not too much unlike Clinton in ways.

avalmez's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic not discounted. seeking elaboration

lataylor's avatar

Since the Civil Rights movement we are now a 9/10.

SeventhSense's avatar

@alvamez
Music isn’t the only art.

lataylor's avatar

@avalmez – I disagree. We also invented the two most important genres: Country and Western music!

avalmez's avatar

what has been a divisive factor in much of the history of humanity has been the difference between one person versus another. the superiority of one culture over another. our country was founded on the notion that all are created equal, even as the issue of slavery was conveniently set aside. but, only for a moment. and while we still haven’t gotten the issue of race right yet, we have made more progress in that regard that any other culture in history. i have experienced that progress in my own life, and am both regretful of my ignorance in the past, and proud of my growth as i have matured.

@SeventhSense i grant that. jazz is a uniquely american form of music

and country and western music is generally regarded as a derivative of Irish music. One could almost make the same point about tap dance (ever seen River Dance?)

SeventhSense's avatar

How about rock and roll, and the blues…every rock singer from the 1940’s on looked to the roots of the blues and country in this country as their foundation. Almost every English musician found their roots in this country.

SeventhSense's avatar

The USA is synonymous with Rock.

SeventhSense's avatar

And Hip Hop.

lataylor's avatar

Didn’t we invent American cheese too? I am very proud of that one.

SeventhSense's avatar

—granted the invention of country music was a dark day in our country’s history..:)~

avalmez's avatar

hey, c&w is great stuff! down a few brews and put on some good ole willy nelson and you’ll know what i mean!

avalmez's avatar

i mean, a guy that gets caught with several pounds of hemp “for personal consumption” has to have gotten something right like willly?

SeventhSense's avatar

It also gave us these guys
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

avalmez's avatar

hee haw! thanks, my grandma luved those guys and they were certainly entertaining!

SeventhSense's avatar

tying a noose

SeventhSense's avatar

throwing it over the rafter…

avalmez's avatar

…saving you from ur-self! i give you hank williams instead!

avalmez's avatar

or, “Stand by your man!” da, da, da, dah!

SeventhSense's avatar

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Mamradpivo's avatar

I feel like we have been way kinder than the Belgians, but overall not all that much different from any other hegemon. We still use our vast physical and economic power to remake the world to our advantage.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@SeventhSense As bad as we are? So, America is bad?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet
Yes, we do a lot of bad things like provoking a war to invade a country on false pretenses in southeastern Asia in the 1960’s….and then orchestrating fiascos in Latin America in the 1980’s….and then through false pretenses starting a war in the Middle East. Using aid as a means to secure commercial interests in a region. Selling arms to known enemies of us so that they can kill other known enemies of us….Should I go on?

avalmez's avatar

@SeventhSense we are much better at criticizing ourselves in ways that result in positive results than the rest of the world can criticize themselves let alone us. in any case, nite to all…the screen is getting blurry :)

DREW_R's avatar

Same shit different day for the past 46 yrs and more to come for at least the next 3.5.

DREW_R's avatar

@SeventhSense

Buck Owens and Roy Clark. Buck was good but Roy was a very talented player and song writer. Next to Chet Atkins he was one of the best pickers in the world, mandalin, guitar, fiddle/violin, piano,... ;)

Jack79's avatar

I hate to admit this, but it’s not that bad. As far as evil dictators go, even Bush was better than some of the previous ones. And Pax Americana is not much worse than Pax Romana, and probably a lot better than some of the more recent European empires.

ubersiren's avatar

I think our people are a hard working, proud, ethical bunch. But our government is an arrogant, greedy, deceitful, bully. “OMG, why don’t you just move to N. Korea, then, ubersiren!” I know, I’m so horrible.

DREW_R's avatar

@ubersiren

No you are not. You are right on the money. ;)

SeventhSense's avatar

@DREW_R
No, I kid. There are many talented country musicians. It’s just when they start singin’ bout Mary Sue and the corn in the valley I just kind of have no reference point. I’m sure I’m the minority though because in the heartland there’s nothing bigger than country. Just aint my cup of tea

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@SeventhSense Compared to the other large countries in the world we are not that bad. We are in no way perfect. No country is, but there are many who are worse. Everything you accused the US of, are the same things MANY of the other countries in the world are doing. As far as evil empires go, get real. We are far from that.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet
Apparently you are attempting to place me on a side of the fence which I do not occupy. Read all my posts before shooting one off the bow.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@SeventhSense You are the one who seems to think the US is bad.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet
US BAD rest of world good. You’re being a little too simplistic. Read all of my posts in regards to this and stop taking one word out of context.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@SeventhSense Most of your post, except the ones to me were off topic. So I don’t know what other posts you speak of.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet
How about the posts to this question.
I have no idea what you mean off topic. Here’s my quote from above with the “bad” removed:
I don’t think there is any past world leader that can compare to the precedence we have set. Even our involvements in wars almost always end with us rebuilding a country’s economy and infrastructure. Japan and Germany are only two examples. We are consistently villified and rightfully so in some instances of commericial interests but there is no nation on earth which has contributed to innovations in industry, science and the arts that we have.

How one can make a case that I am not pro America by this statement is beyond me. My above statement is akin to standing on top of the Empire State Building and waving the stars and stripes. From a neocon position of patriotism that questions nothing and only concedes blind adherence, one might make this assumption. Fortunately I am not of that camp. The subtle difference is that I temper my response with an acknowledgement of the fallibility of our government. This of course in my estimation being the responsibility of every patriotic citizen.
And as to the posts to your questions that were on topic: is there a reason why you never acknowledged one?

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@SeventhSense That was the first post. I did acknowledge it. You used the phrase, “as bad as we are”. Then you said some good things. You kind of set the tone when you lead off that way. I can tell someone, You are really an ass, and then say a bunch of good things they did, but they still heard the bad first. We live in the best country in the world. No patriotic crap inferred in that statement. We are far from perfect or benevolent.
Peace…..

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