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Does 'Merika Have a Culture?

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The culture of the United States is said to be a youth culture, which is defined in terms of entertainment: sex, rock music or its current equivalent, violent video games, sports, and TV reality shows. This culture has transformed the country and appears on the verge of transforming the rest of the world. There are even indications that secularized Arab and Iranian youth can't wait to be liberated and to partake of this culture of porn-rock.

America's former culture -- accountable government, rule of law and presumption of innocence, respect for others and for principles, and manners -- has gone by the wayside. Many Americans, especially younger ones, are not aware of what they have lost, because they don't know what they had.

This was brought home to me yet again by some reader responses to my recent columns in which I pointed out that Strauss-Kahn, the IMF director (now former) accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, was denied the presumption of innocence. I pointed out that the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty was violated by the police and media, and that Strauss-Kahn was convicted in the media not only prior to trial, but also prior to his indictment. 

From readers' responses I learned that there are people who do not know that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty by evidence in a public trial. As one wrote, "if he wasn't guilty, he wouldn't be charged." Some thought that by "presumption of innocence" I was saying that Strauss-Kahn was innocent. I was accused of being a woman-hater and received feminist lectures. Some American women are more familiar with feminist mantras than they are with the legal principles that are the foundation of our society.

Many males also confused my defense of the presumption of innocence with a defense of Strauss-Kahn, or if they knew about "innocent until proven guilty," they didn't care. Right-wingers wanted Strauss-Kahn out of the picture because he was the socialist party candidate likely to defeat the American puppet, Sarkozy, in the French presidential election.

With Sarkozy, Washington finally has a French president who has abandoned all interest in an independent or semi-independent French foreign policy. Didn't I realize that if we lost Sarkozy, the French might revert to not going along with our invasions, as they refused to do when we had to get Saddam Hussein? With Sarkozy, the French are doing our bidding in Libya. Why in the world did I think Strauss-Kahn and some silly doctrine like the presumption of innocence were more important than French support for our wars?

Many left-wingers were just as indifferent to a legal principle that protects the innocent. They wanted Strauss-Kahn's blood, because he is a rich member of the establishment and as IMF director had made the poor in Greece, Ireland, and Spain pay for the mistakes of the rich. What did I mean, "presumption of innocence"? How could any member of the ruling establishment be innocent? One left-winger even wrote that I had "reverted to type," and that my babbling about presumption of innocence proved that I was still a Reaganite defending the rich from the consequences of their crimes.

It evidently did not cause the feminists, the right-wing or the left-wing, to wonder that if such a powerful member of the establishment, as they regard Strauss-Kahn to be, can be denied the presumption of innocence, what would be their fate?

Independent thought is not a concept with which very many Americans are familiar or comfortable. Most want to have their emotions stroked, to be told what they want to hear. They already know what they think. A writer's job is to validate it, and if the writer doesn't, he is, depending on the ideology of the reader, a misogynist, a pinko-liberal commie, or an operative for the fascist establishment. All will agree that he is a no good SOB.

As I wrote a while back, respect for truth has fallen and taken everything down with it.

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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There is now an entire generation that has no know... by Lewis Yang on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:06:19 PM
I've been spreading the word that Paul Craig Rober... by Son of Stuart on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 8:24:17 PM
People do grow and evolve. On occasion. I would su... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:10:28 PM
Doesn't exist in any form that most of us grew up,... by billy Jackson on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 9:40:45 PM
Bill first I would like to say that you and some o... by Jack Heart on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 1:13:57 PM
MANIPULATED MEDIA ROUSES RABBLE! If ignorance is b... by Donald on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:24:08 PM
From my college days (60 years ago) I recall scoff... by Robert Krieckhaus on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:38:50 PM
Mr. Roberts, your articles are excellent and appre... by Nancy S on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:56:11 PM
What were producers of these movies trying to tell... by Steven G. Erickson on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 4:28:43 AM
your comments could have been taken in the vein in... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:05:32 AM
... is to be glad that PCR has not slipped into be... by Ron Brassfield on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:00:18 AM
TO: OLD CODGERConspiracy: an unlawful (unconstitut... by Donald on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 9:03:12 AM
When you think of Pharaoh and a eye...Pharisees...... by Debbie S on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 3:08:37 PM
that is a correct presumption, of the facts stated... by nativenezperce on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 4:39:37 PM
You made me laugh... Thats a good one. I think Bil... by Debbie S on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 10:11:48 PM
not sure I spelled her name right, but she had to ... by nativenezperce on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 12:30:48 AM
Monica Lewinsky wrote a book. But I also feel she ... by Debbie S on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 11:50:29 AM
... to reward such as Newt Gingrich and Bill Clint... by Ron Brassfield on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 7:12:25 AM
Any person who oppoes him to discredit his knowleg... by xxx xxxx on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:36:53 AM
who fails to identify him or herself by name and u... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:55:36 AM
prerogative to picture yourself as an unkempt vaga... by xxx xxxx on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:23:12 AM
Failry recently the guy called ' Scooter' was on t... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:42:54 AM
Please read "learned" for "leaned"... by xxx xxxx on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:29:52 AM
Many people don't want their picture broadcast on ... by Debbie S on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 12:52:58 PM
is based on Lutheran religion and as such is lubr... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:30:48 AM
I was raised Lutheran. Have stayed in thousands o... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:54:49 AM
Wasn't it Reagan who said that govt was a problem?... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 10:11:38 AM
Abraham Lincoln stated the following on February 1... by John Smith on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 9:41:06 AM
I think the mythical "Merika" of Justice for All w... by Marika on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 12:10:09 PM
My husband is a lawyer.He was ready to try a case,... by wagelaborer on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 6:59:06 PM
Sexual assault is a crime, no doubt.And DSK may or... by wagelaborer on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:07:20 PM
Possibly...Because he is a socialist. Who believes... by Debbie S on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 9:53:17 PM
All they have left is agriculture and that is also... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 12:20:58 AM
Those who would wantonly disrupt the chemistry of ... by Ron Brassfield on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 7:26:01 AM
It seems that even Obama, a distinguished lawyer, ... by Adnan Al-Daini on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 6:28:25 AM