Never, in my wildest dreams, would I presume to know everything about any subject on which I speak. Now, having said that, let’s see what makes the United States an exceptional nation. The old saying that just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you, is crystal-clear these days. No matter your station in life, it will be affected in some way, or in many ways, by what the government does…and that government can be federal, state, county or even the city. You WILL be affected by their decisions. If you didn’t believe that you would not be reading this, or any other politically-motivated discourse. It’s no secret that the voters in this country sometimes make boneheaded choices, and I won’t belabor that point…it’s obvious. On the other hand, they sometimes choose the right person for the wrong reasons!
Speaking out against things is an inherent right for Americans. We knew that, way before the schism between the colonists and England turned to war. Americans treasure that right, as free men and women should. That right, iron-clad in the Constitution of the United States’ first amendment, is being questioned by the very government that should be defending it.
For decades, Americans have been surrendering rights, willingly, because they don’t know and don’t care, about what the government does. Perhaps, and it’s just a guess on my part, it’s because the generations have been inculcated with ideology that contradicts the tenets of the country. One can be “branded” with a label as right-wing, left-wing, radical, conservative, liberal – it doesn’t really matter because that is probably just one part of the person’s character. You can be socially liberal, but fiscally conservative. You can be in favor a strong armed forces, but against continuing to be the world’s policeman.
Something else, and it was referred to just above, is that Americans are pretty much a giving people. Is there a disaster somewhere in the world? We will be on the job as quickly as possible with whatever the people might need. Americans will donate, they will raise money, they will do the work–whatever needs to be done Americans will do it, and do it willingly. Now, that’s not to say that other countries don’t do it also–but Americans do it because we are an exceptional nation and we share our bounty. That was a lesson learned early on, from the Indians teaching the pilgrims. We share knowledge, especially if it will benefit mankind.
Our Constitution gives us, as Americans, the right to abolish the government if it is treating us in an unjust manner. Hmm–don’t get me started on that subject, but remember that we have that option. The option that is mostly used is the vote. America is exceptional because we change governments in a non-revolutionary manner every four, or eight, years. Very few other countries do that, and those that do are mostly run by strongmen who make sure they are re-elected.
Along with the right to speak out, we have freedom of the press. In our technological society that includes all manner of communications. Are we using that right to its fullest advantage? I think not.
America is, I believe, exceptional because we have, or used to have, something called “The American Dream”. One could come from humble beginnings and, through diligence, become a captain of industry, a world leader, or anything they wanted, if they applied themselves. We may be losing that, and that would distress me greatly.
This country is basically good, basically honest, and with few differences, has been on the better side of the ledger of character.
America has made mistakes, and admitted them–and corrected them. We are not a perfect nation because people are not perfect, and a nation is what its people are. Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, once said: “Liberty–liberty within the law–and civilization are inseparable.”
Americans are trusting people, by and large–but they are not stupid. At least we shouldn’t think they are. Without mentioning any name, there is a TV commercial playing now, and has been for a long time, that claims that its clients never lose money, even if the stock they hold decreases in value! If anyone believes that a business is going to absorb huge losses without trying to pass those losses on to the customer, they probably are waiting for the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy to show up also. Give me a break!
We are still exceptional. Perhaps a bit less because of the gnawing away of our freedoms, and the lackadaisical mindset of a lot of us, but not to the point where it cannot be regained with a little diligence on the part of the rest of us. To be sure, other countries are coming along to challenge America economically and, perhaps, militarily. Are we still a nation of Minutemen? Will we rise to the occasion? I believe we will, just as I believe that America will continue to be an exceptional nation. We can survive. We MUST survive because the world needs America. We are the ones the rest of the free world depends on, but who do we depend on?