Robert Jensen has been one of my favorite commentators and writers since I discovered him right after 9/11. He’s Professor of Journalism at UT-Austin in my home State of Texas and it was one of his very persuasive articles about the pitfalls of our justice system which swayed my view on capital punishment. (Before that article, I’d been very much in favor of it. As comedian Paul Rodriguez once said, “How much does a rope and ladder cost?”)
This recent Jensen article talks about the arrogance of the U.S. (which is on constant display it seems) in extolling its own virtues, turning a blind eye to the suffering and loss of life left in its wake. Rich Lowry continued that wrong-headed thinking in his National Review piece:
Our greatness is simply a fact. Only the churlish or malevolent can deny it, or even get irked at its assertion.
But Jensen realizes the sheer folly of that mindset, especially now that the U.S. is not quite the force to be reckoned with that it once was and retorts:
It is neither churlish nor malevolent to want to honestly assess the accomplishments and failures of one’s country. Rather, it is the obligation of every citizen.
Go read his article.