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We are not as good as some people say or think. Look what has been going on since the 9-11. War, bad economy, and ideologues have made us just like others.

We are witnessing the beginning of end of American exceptionalism, if there ever was one. Conservatives and nationalists, who believe The United States is special, different and better than other nations, love to proclaim our virtues and glorify our existence. However, starting from the 9-11 we started to degrade our national values, and the decline has accelerated during last eighteen months. What started as a strong response to a horrific terrorist act has spread in other areas and turned into public rage that endangers everything that is good about America.

The first step of the deterioration was the belief any and all actions are acceptable, even desired and necessary, for security and to fight War on terror. We should fight and win regardless of extent of loss of human life, American and foreign, and monetary cost to achieve our goals. We didn’t stop there. We sacrificed privacy of Americans and compliance of international treaties. That slippery slope descended us into torturing prisoners.

The mosque controversy shows how we have lost our national value system. Now, it is true that mosques have been, and still are, used to promote Jihadism in many liberal democratic societies. Any student of history knows about Muslim triumphalism. However, our response to the mosque should be based on our value system, and not emotional flavor of the day.

The reactions by millions of Americans to building of the Muslim mosque, or cultural center, near WTC site are just the symptoms of where we stand today. The conservatives and others who oppose the mosque frequently assert American Exceptionalism. On the other hand the same ideologues want to subvert freedom of religion and private property rights; two most important virtues of our constitution and system of government. Don’t their words make us just a run-of-the-mill democracy? Do we want to be a Christian nation like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are Muslim ones? We are willing to let go what is fundamentally good about the United States because we don’t want to hurt feelings of some people. What is next? Kill some Muslims because it will make us feel good?  

We created the largest middle class anywhere by being ingenious, hard working, and compassionate. Now our schools are failing, and people have become irresponsible and selfish. Millions are suffering because of tough economy, so ideologues and racists have used the opportunity to add fuel to the fire by their venom and bigotry, and turned the pain into fury. Most Americans are scared and angry, but not many ask what I can do to help myself and my country. In other words, we are no different from masses living in any third world nation.

These examples and many more, show how, slowly, our greatness is wearing off. America is, relatively, still a great country. Yes, a little different and better. Definitely not exceptional.

Originally posted to commonsensical on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 08:31 AM PDT.

Poll

Is the USA exceptional?

43%32 votes
21%16 votes
27%20 votes
8%6 votes

| 74 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Always been there, always will be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica

    We are witnessing the beginning of end of American exceptionalism,

    We've always been right at this point.  Exceptionalism was never a sustainable nor plausible creed, but that never stopped us from believing in it anyway.

    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 08:40:12 AM PDT

  •  If there ever was one? Nope, there wasn't. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica, Dom9000

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 08:43:40 AM PDT

  •  Bush's Wars and Tax Cuts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel

    Catered to the worst in us and have dragged down the whole country.  We are paying the pauper for George W Bush's fail;ed presidency big time.

    Lieing to start 2 wars and then paying for them with tax cuts for the Richest will be in the history books.

    •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

      Whether or not the wars were based on lies, two simultaneous, long, expensive wars, simultaneous with large tax cuts and massive deficits, followed by/simultaneous with the worse economic meltdown in many decades together means that the US ability to project power and enforce its will across the world will substantially diminish.  

      "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

      by weasel on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:02:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The U.S. was never exceptional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alpha99

    to begin with.

    "On a battlefield, the flies don't care who wins." - William Stafford journal entry, January 31, 1986

    by Dom9000 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

    •  That's what I keep insisting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dom9000

      I never understood how a belief in American Exceptionalism was essentially different from... say a belief in White Supremacy, or a belief that Jews are God's Chosen people, or a belief in the Aryan Master Race, or the Christian belief that Christians were superior to atheists.

    •  This I cannot accept. (0+ / 0-)

      My two best examples are our hastened entry and conduct of WWII and the Apollo moon landings.  

      On the former:  we didn't get into it until one of our own offshore military bases were attacked but in short order, we were opposing three nations' powers with unprecedented force and redirection of resources and we ended it by developing and using not just one but two superweapons that were in effect developed simultaneously with a third as a prototype. [Please note that I am not judging morality but sheer capability]

      On the latter:  a gigantic program was developed from scratch to culminate in landing six crews on the moon in seven tries with no flight losses.  To this day, the Saturn V rocket that facilitated those landings remain the largest and most powerful launch vehicle ever flown.  The Apollo program utilized about 400,000 people at its peak and was supported by about 20,000 industrial firms and universities.  And let's face it - we did this for the sheer unadulterated badassedness of it even while we fought a war on another continent.

      I could go on.  Cured polio.  Built a 720-foot-high, 2.1GW hydro dam.  Built what is still the fastest fixed-wing ground-takeoff airplane in the world more than forty years ago.  First transcontinental railroad, interstate highway system, telegraph, and telephone.

      You cannot tell me that the country that did these things was unexceptional.   Have we lost that lofty position?  Maybe.  Can we get it back?  Maybe.

  •  "Exceptionalism" keeps us from admitting (0+ / 0-)

    we have problems that might need some attention., so the death of this is overdue

  •  get a passport, travel the world, report back (0+ / 0-)

    Even in this, our darkest hour, people continue to risk their lives to come here... why?

    There is a difference between the US and the rest of the world.

    But it is hard to see from your grandmother's basement.

    The difference is that 98% of us are from somewhere else.

    The courage/insanity/desperation to pick up your entire family and move from Mexico/India/China/where ever and start a new life is what makes us unique.

    I didn't say better.

    Risk takers, dreamers, fools.

    Europeans crave safety, Americans crave adventure.

    Europeans eat french fries and mayonnaise at restaurants with perfect health and safety records

    Americas eat Korean Tacos bought off a truck.

    We are a violent, opinionated and religious people. Even our atheist are evangelical.  

    So, get a passport, travel the world, and report back.

    We are exceptional.

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