Where Have All Our Grand Dreams Gone?

GOP, Dems mired in tiny ideas. Where's our modern race to the moon?
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 10:01 AM CDT
This July 20, 1969 file photo released by NASA shows astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. posing for a photograph beside the US flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.   (AP Photo/NASA, Neil A. Armstrong, file)

(Newser) – After three days of listening to speeches at the Republican National Convention, Thomas Friedman grew tired of listening to endless propounding about "American exceptionalism," he writes in his latest column in the New York Times. Fifty years after President Kennedy launched America on a great journey to the moon, no great visions were announced at the convention (except, perhaps, the dismantling of the welfare state), and Romney-Ryan just blasted President Obama for failing to tout our exceptionalism. Therein lies the race to the bottom, Friedman writes. "You give up the great journeys and just assert your exceptionalism louder."

One problem, according to Friedman, is the lack of connection between Romney and the Republican base. "He is renting the party to fulfill his dream of becoming president, and they’re renting him to get rid of President Obama," he writes. Instead, Friedman thinks both parties should be campaigning on big ideas, like the original journey to the moon. How about making Americans the best-educated nation in the world? Or a dream of doubling the number of new companies formed in America each year, from 500,000 to 1 million within a decade? "If only this election were a choice, not between two parties or two candidates, but between two exceptional journeys," concludes Friedman. Click for his full column.

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