They say the US has dropped to number 33 in safety and security, and is only 11th in prosperity.
Which countries now have greater freedom than the US? Which more prosperous?
Is America exceptional? And if so, why?
McClatchy says the freedom survey is based on "personal freedom, as defined by the London-based Legatum Institute."
McClatchy says, "According to the Legatum Prosperity Index's findings for 2015, the US is the healthiest country in the world. However, when it comes to freedom, an ideal most Americans pride themselves on, the US falls to 15."
The survey says personal freedom for their study "measures a nation's performance at both guaranteeing individual freedom and encouraging social tolerance."
Based on this criteria, Canada is ranked #1 because 94% of its citizens said they believe they have the freedom to choose the course of their own life, and 92% say there is tolerance for ethnic minorities and immigrants.
The study says the US ranked high in all categories except safety and security, where it dropped to number 33.
"In fact," the study reports, "the US is becoming an increasingly dangerous place."
Ironically, it may well be the policies reflected in the criteria they are using for their "freedom" rating that creates the "increasingly dangerous" component in their study.
And the fact that terror-sponsoring nations publicly declare that America is the "Great Satan" ( Israel is the "little Satan" in their minds) and must be wiped off the face of the Earth.
And a failure on their part to understand what made America great in the first place.
In regard to prosperity, Legatum factors in the following: Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Education, Health, Safety & Security, Personal Freedom and Social Capital.
Of 142 nations, they find the most prosperous are 1. Norway, 2. Switzerland, 3. Denmark, 4. New Zealand, 5. Sweden---11. United States, and least 142. Central African Republic. Check out the link above.
They conclude that the US is "The only Western country to register high levels of state-sponsored political violence", equating our levels of state-sponsored violence to that of Saudi Arabia."
The study says they found Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland and Sweden to be the safest countries in the world.
In that the study is getting fairly significant news coverage, what should we make of it?
I suspect the far Left progressives will suggest America should strive to become more like Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland or Sweden. Or Canada.
In this is the fallacy.
America has never been---from its founding, like any other nation.
This survey is flawed in the same way the secular progressive ideology is flawed---it is absent the understanding of the principles and values upon which this nation was founded.
Far Left progressives like our current president, and those far Left progressives who seek to remain in control can describe America as "any other nation"---as they have done in a thousand ways---but it isn't.
Dr. Matthew Spalding has written an outstanding article for the Heritage Foundation in which he clarifies America's exceptionalism and why it remains exceptional---in spite of the sustained efforts of the Left to "remake" it into something it was never intended to be.
Every nation derives meaning and purpose from some unifying quality—an ethnic character, a common religion, a shared history. The United States is different. America was founded at a particular time, by a particular people, on the basis of particular principles about man, liberty, and constitutional government.
The American Revolution drew on old ideas. The United States is the product of Western civilization, shaped by Judeo-Christian culture and the political liberties inherited from Great Britain.
Yet the founding of the United States was also revolutionary. Not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another, or overthrowing the institutions of society, but in placing political authority in the hands of the people.
As the English writer G. K. Chesterton famously observed, "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed." That creed is set forth most clearly in the Declaration of Independence, by which the American colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. The Declaration is a timeless statement of inherent rights, the proper purposes of government, and the limits on political authority.
I strongly encourage you to read his entire column.
He concludes with this:
America is an exceptional nation, but not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truths that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights. These permanent truths are "applicable to all men and all times," as Abraham Lincoln once said.
America's principles have created a prosperous and just nation unlike any other nation in history. They explain why Americans strongly defend their country, look fondly to their nation's origins, vigilantly assert their political rights and civic responsibilities, and remain convinced of the special meaning of their country and its role of the world. It is because of its principles, not despite them, that America has achieved greatness.
To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, these principles—proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the United States Constitution—still define America as a nation and a people. Which is why friends of freedom the world over look to the United States not only as an ally against tyrants and despots but also as a powerful beacon to all those who strive to be free.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Free.