Thursday, March 13, 2014

American Exceptionalism

Watch this video because I will not be repeating what the news anchor says to his audience.  If you don’t watch it, you will miss some of the context for what I have written.  Go ahead; it is an entertaining and dramatic eight minutes.

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America is not the greatest country in the world.

But she used to be, in the same ways in which she is no longer.

And she can be again.

But if you are convinced that America is still the greatest country in the world, then we have nothing to do to keep her there but to keep on doing what we have been doing.  If that is OK with you, then you are part of the reason why we are not the greatest country in the world any more.  Because we don’t have to exert any effort to be Number One, we just ARE Number One.  And that’s crap.

So, saying we are NOT the greatest country in the world is not an unpatriotic sentiment; it is the necessary precondition for us all to get moving and do what we need to do.  My blog, my book, all that I have to say to you is about that: what you and I have to do to restore this country to its once and future greatness, lest we surrender this century to the Chinese (and I have nothing against the Chinese; but I am an American and I want the best for US first).

Before you go away totally pissed at me, …

We ARE still exceptional!  But we have lost our edge.  We are not as exceptional as we once were; our only real competition for the honor is ourselves, in the past.

There is no country in the world where you and I can say any damn thing we want to without fear of fine or imprisonment.

There is no country in the world where a single person of humble origins can make such a huge difference, in his country and in the world.

There is no country in the world where I had rather been born.

But be careful, because even these truths are slipping away.

Addendum: Wednesday, 10/21/2015
An update by the Washington Posts's economist Robert J. Samuelson.