The fundamental problem with the article is that it uses some maps put together by Esquire that simply show nations that impose the death penalty and nations that allows gays to serve in the military. It is quite reasonable to argue that the United States has the wrong approach on those issues. To argue that the American position on those two issues someone makes us worse than 178 other countries is borderline nuts. The Atlantic writer basically acknowledges that point in the article, which brings us back to who was in charge of the headline?
For Heaven’s Sake, America Is Not One of the World’s 17 Most-Authoritarian Nations
July 19, 2010 by Dan Mitchell
A writer for the Atlantic (or perhaps an editor in charge of headlines) is so clueless about world affairs that he lists America as one of the world’s most-authoritarian nations. As someone who is constantly criticizing government, I certainly have no objection to strong rhetoric when describing the misguided policies of the federal government. But I also like to put everything in context and recognize that the United States is still one of the best places for people who value freedom. That may be damning with faint praise, but relative rankings matter. And so when someone at the Atlantic asserts that we are more authoritarian than Libya, Russia, Venezuela, and Cambodia, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.