MCCAIN 'YOUTH' SPEECH PLANNED FOR TUESDAY: 'For much of our history, the world considered the United States a young country. Today, we are the world's oldest constitutional democracy, yet we remain a young nation. We still possess the attributes of youth -- spirit, energy, vitality, and creativity. America will always be young as long as we are looking forward, and leading, to a better world'...
There are a lot of things to be critical about in this statement, but lets start with the easy one. As far as I know, the Republic of Iceland is the oldest continuous constititutional democracy in the world, having formed a democratically elected legislature and judiciary back in 930. It was called the Althing, and has been in existence for most of the 1000+ years since its inception. In fact, the original meeting place, Thingvellir ("parliament fields") is now a national park. How do I know this? I've been there.
I take my world constitutional democractic history seriously.
So, there's that. Also, I don't even think the US is a close second. After all, our founders modeled the US Constitution on the one that governed the Swiss, the Bundesbrief (circa 1291).
While I am being nit-picky, the reality of the matter is that in the next presidential term less emphasis should be placed on world leadership and national greatness, and more should be focused on solving problems here at home. A falling dollar, rising commodity prices, crowded prisons, and a increasingly forboding surveillence regime are issues that need our attention right now. As of today, America is not in a position to lead - nor should it, until we can solve these very very pressing problems at home.
If America is still young, than we would be best be described as sophomores - also known as "wise fools."