What makes a person exceptional?
Please look closely at some personalities preaching American exceptionalism.
What makes them exceptional? Is it their intelligence? their knowledge? their achievements?.
What makes Sarah Palin exceptional? Her history knowledge? her accomplishments as unfinished governor? her leadership?
Being an American is an honor, not a privilege. It comes with responsibilities. An exceptional country consists of exceptional people.
We should ask ourselves – are we exceptional?
Are we exceptional enough to invade other countries?
Are we exceptional in the way we take care of our citizens?
Are exceptional in educating our children?
America is a great country, based on great democratic principles, where anybody with a dream and hard work can succeed. But do we really have the right to call ourselves exceptional just because our military is bigger?, or because we have more guns and kill more of our own citizens than any other developed country in the world?
Do we have the right to bully other nations?, to install “our way of life” by force?
Is the fact that a large number of Americans does not know where Africa is on a map gives us the right to ignore the wishes of other nations, and to be self-centered, arrogant and condescending?
Does our perceived exceptionalism give us an excuse to be ignorant, arrogant and violent? Just because you happen to be born in America does not make you better than other human beings born somewhere else.
Our exceptionalism implies responsibilities
to lead, not to force
to respect, not to dismiss
to learn, not to excuse our ignorance
to listen, not to assume we know better
to be willing to learn from others
But first and foremost, not to accept our exceptionalism as a given, as a birthright.
As a country we have a great potential. America is still a leader of the Free world.
Are we exceptional?
But this leadership is earned with blood and sacrifices and hard work.
While listening to some people talking about the American exceptionalism, I am thinking that if we would follow them, our country would indeed be exceptional. The same way that Yemen is exceptional – a lot of weapons and violence and not much else.
Exceptionalism is not a birthright. Just because someone is born here does not make that someone exceptional.
Clare Boothe Luce, the American playwright, congresswoman and ambassador said:
- The notion that America had some “gilt-edged guarantee of national superiority”.
The notion of our own complacent sense of superiority, our belief that America will always come out on top, that will not be the case unless we make it so.