It is always comforting to read American history. North Americans are always portrayed as the good guys in these narratives. We have this great national model for government and all with grand and dignified institutions. A history filled with giants and legends, slave holders, power brokers and of course, land speculators. But we do still have democracy to fall back on, right, don't we?
We as a nation have gathered together all of our collective wisdom and we have distilled it all down, and out of that elixir we have determined that either Willard "Mitt" Romney or Barack Hussein Obama are the two best, uniquely qualified candidates to lead our nation for the next four years.
"If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." -Mark Twain
"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin
Still, we are so great a nation and so blessed by the creator that we have gone out and built many wonders upon the Earth. In December of 1823, when the United States of America was barely fifty years old, we issued a proclamation to the world. The Monroe Doctrine declared that the United States would consider any attempts at colonization or interference by any other state in the Western Hemisphere an act of war. No one had a vote on the Monroe Doctrine, it was declared unilaterally, that this hemisphere was ours and we would fight to keep it.
There were only twenty two states at the time of the Monroe Doctrine. The Louisiana Purchase was less than twenty years old and yet we had declared to the world that this hemisphere was ours and ours alone to exploit. It had begun as a dream of two German brothers to build a canal across the isthmus joining North and South America. The French began a project to build a sea level canal in 1880. Between 1880 and 1889, 22,000 mainly Afro-Cubans died digging in the Isthmus and the French project eventually collapsed in May of 1889 after spending over $234 millions. The collapse of the company created a scandal in France and it wasn't until 1894 before investors understood that their only way to salvage any return was to complete the project, only now there was a new problem.