Media Link: Gettysburg Address and its contemporary relevance.

datePosted on 17:08, November 19th, 2013 by Pablo

It is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and Jim Mora at RNZ remembered it. He invited me on to the Panel segment to discuss its relevance today with a person who is well informed and one who is less so but strongly opinionated. The segment occupies the first 10 minutes or so of the audio feature and I come in at about the 4:20 mark.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2576894

4 Responses to “Media Link: Gettysburg Address and its contemporary relevance.”

  1. Chris Waugh on November 20th, 2013 at 12:43

    I’m not sure which of the panellists you considered to be less well informed but strongly opinionated, but when that woman (Josie?) started prattling on about bad English in Thailand I had to close the link. And her responses to the Gettysburg address were bizarre. I think she might, possibly, have had some valid points, but I just couldn’t follow her logic at all, so I don’t know.

    The man who talked about the exclusiveness of the Gettysburg address was easier to follow. I had no idea that the cemetery being dedicated (and did he say all Civil War cemeteries?) was for Union soldiers only and the Confederate did were locked out.

    I was interested to hear you raise Uruguay as an example of a healthy, strong democracy. It was a reminder that there are a lot more democracies out there than many realise and far too many restrict the term to Western Europe, North America and Australasia without even bothering to look in other regions of the world. Also, I don’t know much about Latin America, but there does seem to be a few countries in the region quietly going about getting their acts together and developing strong, healthy countries that we very rarely hear about. Chile is another one I’d include with Uruguay (but like I said, I don’t know much about the region).

  2. Pablo on November 20th, 2013 at 13:08

    Indeed Chris, Tony made some good points and Josie had her opinions. I tried to be diplomatic but her conceit was only matched by her ignorance. I wonder why they feature such people on the Panel since they, at best, can only serve as foils for Jim and the other panelist.

    Since I have written at some length of regime transitions and democratization (including about Uruguay) and lived in a number of non-Anglo Saxon places that are democratic, I always try to inject a comparative referent to discussions of “democracy.” Discussion of the concept in NZ and the US is very often narrow and quite parochial, and TBH, many pundits in both countries seem to not fully understand the difference between the procedural and substantive bases of democratic polities.

  3. ropata on November 26th, 2013 at 19:40

    I was lucky enough to tune in and hear the segment live. Good perspectives Paul, it was a shame that you couldn’t speak longer as your comments were obviously well informed and interesting. At least we have this blog!

  4. Pablo on November 26th, 2013 at 19:47

    Thanks ropata, as it is hard to self-measure how coherent I was.

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