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View Diary: We don't need more cheerleading in America (153 comments)

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  •  for Palin exceptional means "special" as in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, verso2

    The Church Lady's tag line, "Isn't that Special" or in the worse case a reference to TriG.

    Palin's problem is that she doesn't want America to actually be #1. Rather, her problem is that she thinks it is sufficient to merely believe it and cheer it.

    This observation can be traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the United States as "exceptional". Although the term does not imply superiority, some writers have used it in that sense. To them, the United States is a "shining city on a hill", and exempt from historical forces that have affected other countries.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach;Warning-Some Snark Above;Cascadia Lives

    by annieli on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:17:55 PM PST

    •  Palin as nostalgic for AK, the Last Frontier (0+ / 0-)

      Critics such as Howard Zinn in A People's History of the United States (1980 and later editions) have argued that American history is so morally flawed that it cannot be an exemplar of virtue. Zinn argues that American exceptionalism cannot be of divine origin because it was not benign, especially when dealing with Indians

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach;Warning-Some Snark Above;Cascadia Lives

      by annieli on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:25:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tryggr, son of Sarah (0+ / 0-)

      Down syndrome (trisomy 21, trisomy G) is a chromosomal disorder resulting in mental retardation and physical abnormalities.

      Secession can allow for control of the domestic language space

      Präsidentenelf-maßschach;Warning-Some Snark Above;Cascadia Lives

      by annieli on Sun Dec 05, 2010 at 07:50:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Worthy" is how someone put it. (0+ / 0-)

      I remember a post from someone on some other article. It explained Palin and Tea Partiers perfectly. Basically, they are people whose mental make-up requires them to be "better" or "more worthy" than someone else. They cannot tolerate life if they are merely "average". They cannot look at themselves and see a "nobody," or look at the products of their lives and see that they did or produced nothing significant--in spite of the fact that they are far more likely to have done just that because their mental make-up also makes them classically "herd-bound": too afraid of life to leave the herd and actually strive to be "exceptional."

      Deep down, they know this. But they cannot admit that they are just one of the herd. They MUST be better, i.e. "more worthy," than somebody. Denial is deeply interwoven in the thin, transparent, but amazingly resilient fabric they wrap themselves in--a fabric called American exceptionalism.

      And so those who believe in it are compelled to tag people as "unworthy,"  unconsciously finding various basically bogus, but psychologically necessary reasons for other people's "unworthiness": they aren't Christian, they aren't straight, they aren't white, they aren't conservative, they aren't wealthy, they aren't employed, they aren't homeowners, they aren't good credit risks, they aren't "family," etc., etc. As a result, "those people" do not deserve any tax breaks (they don't pay any taxes!), do not deserve extension on UI (they aren't trying to find jobs!), do not deserve a house with an affordable mortgage (they should have known, regardless of what the mortgage broker claimed or failed to claim, that they couldn't afford that!), they do not deserve a good education regardless of where they live and the tax base that funds it (they chose to live there, so if that place can't afford to support good schools, it's their fault for living there, not the country's fault for failing to demand and fund education on par with other countries), they do not deserve a government-supported health care system (they should just find a job that provides it--and it they can't, it's because they are too lazy to try), and so and so on and so on.

      The pattern of excuses is programmed into the highly mechanized and efficient loom, otherwise known as the Republican Party, that churns out yards upon yards of the American exceptionalism that is used to cover up--and so enable the country to ignore--its many flaws. Only when something comes along that is strong enough to tear that fabric will significant change occur. This is why the public option was not included in the health care bill: "America has the best health care system in the world!" Get it? The fabric HELD. This is also why electing the first black president has not brought about real change: like an army that tries to bring down a heavy door with sledge hammers, scattered, uncoordinated, individual efforts cannot tear this fabric. Mere scissors will not cut it. The heavy door needs a battering ram. The fabric needs a harpoon: sharp,pointed spear propelled by unified and explosive force and concentrated on single point. The election of the first black president could have been that harpoon, but the dithering of Democrats has shown that although they built it, built an instrument that could tear the fabric, they did not, do not and may not EVER put enough effort behind it to give it the power it needs.

      The fabric that controls the life of every American--in contrast to the lives of other advanced countries, is called "American exceptionalism." It stems from low self-esteem and more than a touch of the meanest kind of selfishness. It is a fabric which has blanketed the country, causing people to resist change, to find fault with anything and/or anyone who is different, and to always be able to use "unworthiness" to resist creating true equality in the very country that was founded on it.

      Oh, heck, I put so much effort into creating this post, I may as well post it as a diary.

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