"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
You've played the Fortune Cookie Game – the one where you read your fortune and add to the end the words, "in bed." Now a new twist on the game is making the rounds: you take some proclamation of neoconservative vision and round it out with the words, "by killing people."
It occurred to me you can play the game with any number of statements from US history, since so many aspects of the American story – the great westward expansion; the Civil War; the struggles against Nazism and Communism – involved killing people.
Pick just about any grand and noble statement of national purpose or national defense and killing people has come into it.
A few examples:
[W]e should have such an empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation by killing people. Thomas Jefferson
I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons by killing people. Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here by killing people. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced by killing people. Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses by killing people. Woodrow Wilson
The world must be made safe for democracy by killing people. Woodrow Wilson
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy by killing people. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances by killing people. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men – by killing people. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil, by killing people. FDR, D-Day Prayer
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world by killing people. JFK, Inaugural Speech
It's easy to make the American vision look ridiculous, thanks to this simple parlor game! More entries, anyone?