Originally published 07/05/2013
(CNN) – With signs of patriotism abounding for the Fourth of July, a new survey indicates seven in 10 Americans think the Founding Fathers would be disappointed by the way the United States has turned out, 237 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.But that doesn't mean Americans themselves are displeased. The same poll, released Thursday by Gallup, shows the number who say they're very or extremely proud to be American remains steady at 85%....Despite the high level of patriotism, 71% of Americans think the signers of the Declaration of Independence wouldn't be pleased with the nation today. That number has steadily risen since 2001, when the number stood at 42%....
Originally published 04/23/2013
Richard Parker,a Nation editorial board member, is an Oxford-trained economist who teaches at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He serves as an adviser to Prime Minister Papandreou. He is the biographer of John Kenneth Galbraith....My parents lived through the Depression and Second World War; they’d been children in the First World War; and they’d taught us in the Cold War fifties and sixties not to be fearful but to be brave—and quiet about our bravery. When President Kennedy was assassinated, we all wept—but I don’t remember Walter Cronkite offering therapeutic advice to viewers or Lyndon Johnson keening on about “our” suffering and fears.
Originally published 03/20/2013
Forty percent of Austrians believe things were not all bad under Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to a poll released Friday by the Market Institute for the Der Standard newspaper. Researchers sampled 502 subjects throughout the country, of varying ages.They found a rise in the number of respondents – 61 percent this time around, mostly elderly Austrians – who favored the idea of a “strong leader who does not have to worry about a parliament or elections” as a leader. The statistic was three times higher than that seen in 2008, 20 percent at the time, the paper reported.Of those surveyed, 42 percent said “not everything was bad under Hitler,” while 57 percent said they saw “no good aspects” to the Nazi era....
Originally published 03/19/2013
Nuclear war is unthinkable. At least, that’s what we like to tell ourselves. Given the mass death and devastation from an atomic strike, surely only a desperate despot would even consider such a strike.Slim Pickens joyfully rides a nuclear bomb onto a Russian target in the classic satire, “Dr. Strangelove.”Well, think again. A new study finds that, among the American public, the taboo against the use of nukes is far weaker than you might imagine.“When people are faced with scenarios they consider high-stakes, they end up supporting—or even preferring—actions that initially seem hard to imagine,” said Daryl Press, an associate professor at the Dartmouth College Department of Government....
Originally published 03/18/2013
It is remarkable how fast the issue of same-sex marriage has moved the American public. Of course, some long-time proponents will argue the opposite, that it has taken far too long for it to gain acceptance. And they say that there is no shortage of efforts around the country to block or overturn the practice.But there is no question that since Vice President Biden first announced his support for the issue last May — jumping the gun on President Obama, whose position on the issue was said to still be "evolving" — things have changed rapidly. Almost immediately, and far more significant, was Obama's declaration he felt the same. After that came dramatic shifting in public opinion, where for the first time ever, polls show that more people support gay marriage than oppose it. It became a cause to be celebrated at the Democratic National Convention last summer. Voters in three states, after an unbroken string of defeats, chose to legalize gay marriage in November. And it got considerable attention at Obama's inauguration in January, where he said, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."...
Originally published 03/17/2013
Ten years after the start of the Iraq war, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds nearly six in 10 Americans say the war was not worth fighting. Nearly as many say the same about the war in Afghanistan.A key reason: "A substantial sense that neither war did much to achieve their goals of enhancing U.S. security. Only about half of Americans say either war contributed to the long-term security of the United States, and just two in 10 say either contributed "a great deal" to U.S. security - clearly insufficient, in the minds of most, to justify their costs in lives and lucre."...
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