View Poll Results: When did the US lose its prestige?

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  • pre-1920s (list when below)

    3 7.69%
  • 1920s

    0 0%
  • 1930s

    0 0%
  • 1940s

    2 5.13%
  • 1950s

    1 2.56%
  • 1960s

    4 10.26%
  • 1970s

    7 17.95%
  • 1980s

    3 7.69%
  • 1990s

    4 10.26%
  • 2000-present

    15 38.46%
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Thread: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

  1. #21
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Personally I think it's best to break it up into categories.

    Foreign policy had been here and there since the founding, with annexations and the such, but it really started becoming... evil... with Wilson. He helped to create a new concept behind war, one driven by offense instead of defense. FDR continued it to a lesser extent, and the US involvement in middle eastern politics in the 50s was horrible. JFK ramped it up with the Vietnam War in 1962, LBJ obviously continued+escalated this (from memory no wars since Vietnam have been constitutionally declared by Congress). The seventies weren't much better, the 80s were a good contender for the worst decade of foreign policy that century; Nicaragua stands out, as does the US aid to militant Islamists in the middle east to combat the Soviets, and the whole Iran-Contra scandal. The nineties were a bit of a relief, but only when compared to the decade that preceded it: the Gulf War stands out. The 2000s were a horrible way to enter the new millennium: Bush 2.0 cemented the doctrine of preventive war, distinct from preemptive war (the former being blatantly illegal under international law, the latter of questionable legality). 2996 American (some other nationalities) deaths on September 11th began a response that killed well over a hundred thousand Iraqis killed, as well as 4432 US soldiers in the Iraq War. The US elected a President who talked big on change, but in effect has just escalated the foreign policy doctrine of the previous administration (to a similar extent as Bush's second term). The US support of Israel was over a few decades, so I didn't really include it.

    Civil rights have generally gotten much better over the past century, largely due to local scale activism. Suffrage in 1913, substantive civil rights legislation in the 1960s, unionization, etc. Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s was a big hit against civil rights, as was the war on drugs which was waged beginning fairly early in the century, but two figures stand out in this category: Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan (1970s/1980s). By far the worst decade progress wise for civil rights was the 2000s. Bush practically dismantled the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Wiretapping, torture, Guantanamo Bay, etc. The nation elected a President to change things, but really he's been more of the same on this issue; his justice department even fought the Supreme Court on torture. Oh, I forgot to mention the Japanese internment camps under FDR. That too :P

    Social programs have gotten gradually better also, with FDR being a standout in this field. Social Security, Medicare, etc, with polls putting opposition to spending cuts in these programs at around 65%+. Again, FDR is a standout, although it was ultimately the result of activism a decade prior.

    Taxes, depending on how you look at them (personally, I see taxes as entirely irrelevant. The US should spend what makes rational sense, then tax whatever is needed to balance the budget exactly. No surpluses, no deficits), anyway, they've certainly dropped, especially for the rich. Taxes as high as 90% for the top marginal tax rate (in federal income taxes, I exclude state taxes, and other taxes because they vary) have dropped down to sub-50% levels (quite easily).

    Wages were increasing for the average worker until the mid 1970s. Since then they have roughly stagnated in real wage terms. In contrast, the gap between the rich and poor has skyrocketed. Corporate profits are up almost exponentially. The portion of the wealth held just by the top 1% has tripled since JUST 1980. In the 1950s, by contrast, an increase in the nation's wealth was distributed more equally throughout each income bracket, rather than the top 1% getting large portions of it.

    From a constitutionality basis, the Executive branch gained an INSANE amount of power that it was never meant to have, precisely for the reasons that we see today. Wars not declared by Congress, signing statements, etc.

    The US has gotten better culturally. The 1930s began the modern music era in my opinion, with performers like Robert Johnson, and the supremacy of Jazz (one of the great American conceptions of the 20th century). The 1950s were brilliant music wise, and the movie industry really started to get fantastic with films like Citizen Kane in the 1940s, and Hitchcock in the 1950s. The 1960s were arguably the cultural peak of the 20th century, with an arguably unparalleled music scene, and a film scene stuck in the transition between two eras. The 2000s were largely the end of the US cultural boom in my opinion, with music being bland and uninteresting, and great films being much less frequent (although Mr. Nolan is doing a brilliant job).

    Intellectually the US has gotten better over the century, no doubt. Education standards are easy to drop. Watch out.

    That's my $0.02.
    Last edited by SirPwn4lot; 03-06-11 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #22
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

  3. #23
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Prestige is not might,
    Prestige is not military,
    Prestige is not force,
    Prestige is not money,
    Prestige is not domination,
    Prestige is not politics,

    Prestige means humanistic principles,

    When you sacrifice something because you think that that this is against principles,
    Then you do it for nothing but to keep your prestige up and intact,

    Prestige is the name of your account in which you keep your good deeds based on values, ethics and principles,

    Prestige is promise,
    A promise that you once had made with your God,
    Prestige is the graph of your actions you do, based on that promise!!!

    Your hearts, minds and conscience constantly tell you,
    About, whether you are keeping your promise or you are ignoring your promise,

    Prestige is the court of your conscience,

    And, Jesus Christ is the Justice of that court,

    Prestige is very valuable, if you consider,
    It does not come from money,
    It comes directly from Jesus Christ,

    Children are free and protected,
    If they have shelter of Jesus Christ,

    This is The Prestige.

  4. #24
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Quote Originally Posted by hussainmehdi View Post
    Prestige is not might,
    Prestige is not military,
    Prestige is not force,
    Prestige is not money,
    Prestige is not domination,
    Prestige is not politics,

    Prestige means humanistic principles,

    When you sacrifice something because you think that that this is against principles,
    Then you do it for nothing but to keep your prestige up and intact,

    Prestige is the name of your account in which you keep your good deeds based on values, ethics and principles,

    Prestige is promise,
    A promise that you once had made with your God,
    Prestige is the graph of your actions you do, based on that promise!!!

    Your hearts, minds and conscience constantly tell you,
    About, whether you are keeping your promise or you are ignoring your promise,

    Prestige is the court of your conscience,

    And, Jesus Christ is the Justice of that court,

    Prestige is very valuable, if you consider,
    It does not come from money,
    It comes directly from Jesus Christ,

    Children are free and protected,
    If they have shelter of Jesus Christ,

    This is The Prestige.
    I largely agree with you that prestige is ethically based, but I think that politics can either be ethical or non-ethical.

    Damn, I guess that since I don't believe in Jesus I don't have any prestige. Or freedom, or protection. But I think your line of reasoning is that prestige is a measure of a good life -> ethics come from Jesus -> Jesus = prestige, which isn't that bad, I just disagree that ethics come from Jesus.
    Last edited by SirPwn4lot; 03-06-11 at 07:45 AM.

  5. #25
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The US is still hands down no contest the greatest country on earth. What more do you want?
    oh. and a cohesive family structure.

  6. #26
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Quote Originally Posted by hussainmehdi View Post
    Prestige is not might,
    Prestige is not military,
    Prestige is not force,
    Prestige is not money,
    Prestige is not domination,
    Prestige is not politics,

    Prestige means humanistic principles,

    When you sacrifice something because you think that that this is against principles,
    Then you do it for nothing but to keep your prestige up and intact,

    Prestige is the name of your account in which you keep your good deeds based on values, ethics and principles,

    Prestige is promise,
    A promise that you once had made with your God,
    Prestige is the graph of your actions you do, based on that promise!!!

    Your hearts, minds and conscience constantly tell you,
    About, whether you are keeping your promise or you are ignoring your promise,

    Prestige is the court of your conscience,

    And, Jesus Christ is the Justice of that court,

    Prestige is very valuable, if you consider,
    It does not come from money,
    It comes directly from Jesus Christ,

    Children are free and protected,
    If they have shelter of Jesus Christ,

    This is The Prestige.
    While I would love to agree with you, prestige in our world today is not based off of Christ or conscience or even ethics. If it were we would live in a much better world. No, prestige is based off money, politics, and military might which fold into one thing, raw power. Power is what prestige is based on today.

    To the thread however, I do not think the US has lost prestige. If we have, it would have been in the 90s when we lost the USSR as a rival. America always needs a rival. Prestige has not been lost; what has been lost is the ability to ignore or not even hear negative comments. The internet has allowed every negative comment a voice and now we can collect and categorize them. Before the internet, we either said these things in a way that made them seem rare or that they didn't exist (if the major newspapers or networks didn't cover it.) The sad fact is that we generally don't categorize positive news in the same way.
    Last edited by hallam; 03-06-11 at 08:05 AM.

  7. #27
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    When did this "losing" of prestige occur ?
    Did we ever have this ?
    And in whose eyes ?
    For a long time people fled to our shores, and they still are(Mexicans, Central Americans), so we must be doing things better than others - which is not saying very much...
    Canada and France are two of the more advanced of the world's nations.
    Are they coming or going ??

  8. #28
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    What does 'prestige' mean in relation to the US? This question strikes me as self-indulgent navel gazing. To begin with, it's not really for Americans to decide whether their nation has prestige i.e. fame, reputation, glamour based on success or rank. You can wonder about it all you like, like those "What do you think of me?" threads in the Basement, but you can't be the one's to decide how others see you.

    It's also quite telling that the word 'prestige' derives from the Latin word, prestidigiae, meaning a trick, or a sleight of hand. Similarly, having prestige in the eyes of others can be very deceptive and misleading.
    Last edited by Andalublue; 03-06-11 at 08:19 AM.
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  9. #29
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot View Post
    I largely agree with you that prestige is ethically based, but I think that politics can either be ethical or non-ethical.

    Damn, I guess that since I don't believe in Jesus I don't have any prestige. Or freedom, or protection. But I think your line of reasoning is that prestige is a measure of a good life -> ethics come from Jesus -> Jesus = prestige, which isn't that bad, I just disagree that ethics come from Jesus.
    Quote Originally Posted by hallam View Post
    While I would love to agree with you, prestige in our world today is not based off of Christ or conscience or even ethics. If it were we would live in a much better world. No, prestige is based off money, politics, and military might which fold into one thing, raw power. Power is what prestige is based on today.

    To the thread however, I do not think the US has lost prestige. If we have, it would have been in the 90s when we lost the USSR as a rival. America always needs a rival. Prestige has not been lost; what has been lost is the ability to ignore or not even hear negative comments. The internet has allowed every negative comment a voice and now we can collect and categorize them. Before the internet, we either said these things in a way that made them seem rare or that they didn't exist (if the major newspapers or networks didn't cover it.) The sad fact is that we generally don't categorize positive news in the same way.
    (a big sigh)
    So ok,
    Go a head,

    Who can stop you???
    Of course No One …not even prestige,

    Whenever you stop …whenever …may be hundred years later or thousand,
    You will have to return to ethics and values and principles,

    Would you like to cultivate a barren land???

    One day, you will have to return to the Mother,

    When you will return, people will ask you questions,
    What will you say then???
    This is the question for your prestige,

    Those, who always side with Mother,
    And those, who return very late,
    They are not equal,

    This is The Prestige.

  10. #30
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    Re: When Did the United States Lose its Prestige?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gapeach View Post
    It was before Nixon. LBJ screwed up Foreign policy from the get go. He even admitted to hating foreigners.

    The latest archival studies suggest that the same was true of foreign policy: in a sense, Johnson did not have one. The historians show us a president who, when his advisers disagreed, would try to split the difference between them
    Lyndon Johnson and Foreign Policy: What the New Documents Show | Foreign Affairs
    A level of intelligence and common sense tells me that a hater/racist can be from any political party..
    So, lets stop with the bashing - its so childish..
    I think that "greatness" can be measured by the quantity of people who have left the comfort and security of their homes abroad to be here and suffer from our intolerance and hatred....fortuniately, this is probably not that bad.... we have a great deal of decent people here, they simply do not get any press.
    Did I say that our media needs reform ?

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