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Miniblog #126: Scrutiny Is the Price Americans Pay for Our Affluence, Power & Influence

by Carson T. Clark on September 13, 2012

Americans getting mad about the constant barrage of criticism from poorer nations is like a CEO becoming irate over a janitor’s complaints. It’s immature, unbecoming, and suggests poor leadership qualities. A decade ago Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben reminded us that with great power comes great responsibility. That’s true, but he left something out. With it also comes great scrutiny. It’s a simple fact of life that the more affluence that’s acquired, the more power that’s wielded, and the more influence that’s exerted the more a person, movement, organization, geo-political body, philosophy, belief system, or culture is put under the microscope. And that’s precisely the way it should be. Climbing on our high horse when we receive critical feedback merely reinforce the widespread perception that we’re a bully. The appropriate response to criticism from less stable, poorer nations isn’t defensive posturing or angry indignation but forgiving civility, thoughtful consideration, and humble apologies when appropriate.11.Hat tip, Jason Dye. Thanks for the helpful criticism.

  • Ken Leonard

    A decade ago? Uncle Ben died in 1962.

    Wait, that’s not your point … sorry.

    Yes, I agree. As the only nation in the world that has ever actually used nuclear weapons on another country, we need to understand that the whole world doesn’t owe us deference and that we have to pay attention to what we’re being told.

    • Carson T. Clark

      I wish I had something good to add. I’ll just go with, “Hear, hear!”

  • Cody Stauffer

    Well said. The truly great know how to take criticism and know when and how to take ownership of mistakes and bad decisions.

    • Carson T. Clark

      A decidedly un-American thing to do.

  • Jas-nDye

    Nice, Carson. There’s certainly a reason we’re perceived as bullies.

    No, wait. Reasons.

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