The American political system has never been the same. How Presidential campaigns are funded changed. Watergate was a driving factor in amending the Freedom of Information Act in 1974, as well as laws requiring new financial disclosures by key government officials, such as the Ethics in Government Act. The Watergate scandal left such an impression on the national and international consciousness that many scandals since then have been labeled with the suffix "-gate".
In February/March 2011 nearly a dozen countries in the Middle East experienced various forms of civil uprisings in an attempt to change the oppressive regimes that were in place. Jeffersonian-style democracy has not emerged as hoped for by U.S. politicians.
- Egyptian protesters attempted to congregate in Tahir Square this week and were forced out. The military leadership that has helped rule the country for most of the past century is still in place.
- Nearly 2,00 people have died in Syria this year in conflicts. CNN reported that the violence continues: “bodies lay stuffed and tangled like garbage in the back of a pickup. Men lifted the bodies one by one and hurled from them from a bridge into a river below.”
- Libya continues to try to oust Mummar Gadhafi with NATO forces leading the fight. President Obama refused to obtain Congressional authorization for American military participation.
America is more than a country. It’s an idea. It’s an aspiration that the world looks to. As the 2012 Presidential campaign kicks into high(er) gear (just 480 Shopping Days Left!) the mantra of America being the best will bang loudly in a misguided attempt at patriotism. Were it still so.