Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Could Obama's Speechwriters Let This Slip?

"And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."

First of all, a nation didn't invent the automobile, an individual, a small group or at most a company invented it. Not a nation. And second, the nation in which the inventors, Daimler and Maybach, lived, was Germany, not America.

I love my country, the United States, I subscribe to a significant extent in American Exceptionalism, and I fervently hope our best days are not behind us. But holding such beliefs does not, should not, require frequent, incorrect, un-supported assertions such as:
  • Americans are the hardest-working people in the world (that title probably goes to subsistence farmers in any number of undeveloped locales). I don't want to be the hardest-working person. I would like to be the smartest-working person.
  • Our [blank] system is the best in the world...clinging to that outdated belief might explain why we have tolerated decades of excessive inflation in healthcare costs.
  • We invented the English language.
  • Our companies and workers can out-compete anybody, if given a level playing field.
That kind of mindless semi-jingoism doesn't serve anybody well.

(Note: I can easily forgive this mistake on the part of a busy President, but the speechwriters have not excuse.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. What i try to remember is that he is talking to the larger populous who are mostly infected with blind nationalism and eat that stuff up.

    I love this country but I also love it enough to be able to criticize it and realize that we have a long way to go, especially if you look at crime rates, sex crime rates, literacy, teenage pregnancy rates, infant mortality etc...