January 16, 2011

“The Glory of American Discourse”

Flags at half staff In Washington after Tucson shooting

What’s the lesson of the heated debate—often rancorous and occasionally defamatory—that ensued over the Tucson shooting? Well, that there is much to admire about political discourse in the U.S. And this is precisely what Americans take for granted, but also the first thing that strikes a visitor:

[T]his is a country where fundamental questions are constantly aired, argued and litigated over - the size of government and the limits of its power, the meaning of equality under the law, when life begins, you name it. It is hardly surprising in this protean atmosphere that there should be a good deal of rancour. But it's unique and invigorating too. It is in fact a breath of fresh air after the soggy centralist consensus that usually prevails in Britain and much of Western Europe.

Rather well said, I’d say. Read the rest.