This column is still waiting for someone to name a great civilization built by progressive leftists. But just because the wokesters don’t create anything of enduring value, that doesn’t mean they aren’t highly competent when it comes to transmitting their grievances via modern media. In fact, so successful have they been in promoting the false idea that America is an unjust society that these days one can feel almost subversive expressing unapologetically patriotic views.
So it’s nice to get a regular reality check. The latest to arrive is a Wall Street Journal poll showing a solid majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents who understand that we live in an exceptional meritocracy. Yes, it’s important to note the usual caveat that polling is not an exact science, if it’s even a science. But these results appear to be well outside the margin of error.
Specifically, the survey found that a full 74% of participants agreed with the following statement:
America is the greatest country in the world.
Not just above average, not just great, but the greatest.
According to the WSJ survey results, nearly as many people also think that the right to rise is alive and well in the U.S. A sturdy 68% of respondents agreed with the following statement:
If people work hard, they are likely to get ahead in America.
Some readers may be distressed that the number isn’t even higher. Still, given the number of voluble politicos and pundits who’ve spent so much of the last several years claiming that U.S. society is rigged and racist, it’s notable how decisively they have failed to persuade. The logical conclusion is that the progressive left’s critique of the free society doesn’t square with the experience of people who live in it.
Perhaps patriotic Americans are just too numerous to cancel!
There’s a Reason the Founders Didn’t Give the Federal Government a General Police Power
Just because Americans live in the greatest country in the world doesn’t mean its governing institutions don’t need reform. Michael Finnegan reports in the Los Angeles Times:
… FBI agents drilled and pried their way into 1,400 safe-deposit boxes at the U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills.
They rummaged through personal belongings of a jazz saxophone player, an interior designer, a retired doctor, a flooring contractor, two Century City lawyers and hundreds of others.
Agents took photos and videos of pay stubs, password lists, credit cards, a prenuptial agreement, immigration and vaccination records, bank statements, heirlooms and a will, court records show. In one box, agents found cremated human remains.
Eighteen months later, newly unsealed court documents show that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles got their warrant for that raid by misleading the judge who approved it.
They omitted from their warrant request a central part of the FBI’s plan: Permanent confiscation of everything inside every box containing at least $5,000 in cash or goods, a senior FBI agent recently testified.
What Would Starbucks Have Done Without Experts?
Your humble correspondent has never been attracted to high-priced coffee but admires the entrepreneurial drive of the man who built
into an international retail giant. At the company’s recent Investor Day, longtime CEO
shared a story from 1996 when, four years after the firm’s initial public offering, the Starbucks executive team was considering expansion into foreign markets:
Now here’s the thing, none of us had any international experience to speak of, except one of us was from Canada… we had a young group of people. Some of us had never been in Europe, never been to Asia. And we took this tour around the world, and we saw an extraordinary level of opportunity. And we decided that we were going to open up in Japan.
Now the Board at the time, given their fiduciary responsibility… said, Howard, we need to hire a consulting firm to help us understand what the opportunity is and the challenges. So we did that. Now I’m not big on consultants, but we did it. They went out for months, did a comprehensive study of the market, came back to the Board with a thick book and the headline was, if Starbucks goes to Japan, it will be dead on arrival. Dead on arrival, why? Our no-smoking policy would not go well with the Japanese consumer. Certainly, no Japanese customer would ever eat or drink in the street, they would lose face. And the cost of real estate would be too expensive.
So what did we do? We listened and we decided to go to Japan. And so in 1996, we opened up our first store in Tokyo in a great site in the Ginza, but we made one… mistake. And the mistake was we opened at the wrong time of the year. August in Tokyo is… 100 degrees with 100% humidity, and we had no cold coffee at that point, no frappuccino, just hot coffee with 100-degree weather. So the night before I say to our Japanese partner through a translator… you have to understand, we made a mistake, we should have opened up in the winter. It’s going to be a tough day.
The translator was afraid to tell the truth. And she says to him, Mr. Schultz says it’s going to be the biggest day in Starbucks history. I’m dying. I get to my hotel room, and I have an enthusiastic person on the other line saying, Howard,… we have incredible news. CNN is going to cover the opening live. I didn’t sleep the whole night, wake up that morning… We rushed to the store at 6:00 a.m. And as we’re driving to the store, there is a line around the corner and I turn to the translator again. And I said, Yuji-Tsun , did you hire extras? It turns out they slept overnight. We cut the ribbon and a young man, doesn’t speak a word of English, rushes to the front of the line to the barista and says, Double Tall Latte. And at that point, we all knew we were at home.
James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”
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