America is exceptional, we’re told. We’re the best at everything. We’re supposed to lead the world at everything. The point of America is that we’re supposed to have the best economy, the best technology, the best schools, the best military, the best stock market, the best standard of living.
That’s what America’s about, that’s what the role of government is. Obviously, because those are the things politicians and the media refer to as American Exceptionalism.
America isn’t supposed to be exceptional because of Democracy and Liberty. Forget about those things, will you? The whole world has those. America is only exceptional if we have the best economy and the best military. Health insurance, that’s what we’re really supposed to be great at. We lead the world, yeah of course we do, because we police the world. Availability of student loans, that’s what makes us exceptional. How many pairs of shoes did you buy last year? 5? Yeah, because you’re an American, you’re exceptional, man.
We used to be piss-and-vinegar and defiant, anti-authority cowboys and hippies and beats and congregation members, democratic ideals and a love of serving community. We used to pride ourselves on Liberty.
We all want our children to be educated, we all want medical care, economic stability; roads and electricity and neighbors that aren’t shivering starved. These aren’t mutually-exclusive to Democracy and Liberty – Democracy and Liberty allow us to create these. But by placing these needs above Democracy and Liberty, by changing the meaning of American Exceptionalism, Democracy and Liberty have been degraded and our schools suck, we can’t provide medical care, our roads are crumbling, and we’re always at war.
What happened? When did American Exceptionalism mean valuing goals other than Democracy and Liberty? those two ideals that had made us exceptional in the world?
We’ve allowed politicians and the media to redefine American Exceptionalism. I doubt this was an accident.
“You should be worried about terrorists and college tuition because this is how we make America Exceptional again.”
America isn’t about Liberty and Democracy, it’s about policing the world and making sure everyone makes monthly payments to insurance corporations.