American Exceptionalism is a concept that is viewed as a relic from a bygone era.
You know these days there’s been a lot of talk about how America needs to be more like the rest of the world, and less like the America we all grew up in. There’s some truth to that, no one likes a braggart. Certainly not Vladimir Putin.
But is it really a relic?
In America, you can choose whatever profession you wish to be, and even change it late in life. Being anything you want to be in America is simply a matter of working hard enough and making the right life decisions to get there, such as education, background and training. Not everyone succeeds at becoming what you want, or reaching the top of their profession, but certainly no one is going to stop you from trying. American Exceptionalism is about pride in work and freedom of choice in labor.
Not so much in other countries. A third of the world lives under governmental direction of profession or societal direction. In China, local magistrate determine profession based on a combination of need and aptitude determined at an early age. A child designated to become a gymnast in China, certainly can’t decide tomorrow they would like to become an auto mechanic the next day. Or ever for that matter.
In other countries, profession is determined by caste or in some cases by lottery. In America, you even grow up to be a professional panhandler—it’s your choice. As you grow older, if you make poor decisions, your choices become more limited, but it’s still not impossible to change professions, unlike most other countries.
In fact, America recognizes that there aren’t as many opportunities for education and professions overseas. It’s hard to want to become an astronaut, if your country doesn’t have a space program. That’s why we allow foreign nationals to come and work here on work permits to learn how we do things, and then, hopefully, go back to their own countries and teach their own people how to build a business or a bridge. We educate many foreign born citizens, and in fact, many world leaders come to the US to work in our factories or companies and take advantage of our schooling. Even Bin Laden’s family has come to the US to take advantage of this (Bin Laden’s brother was killed in 1988 working in Texas in a plane accident).
Not many do go back home however; they like to stick around since it’s so good here. We allow that too, if they follow the rules. Freedom of choice, after all, Mr. Putin, is something we still adhere to. Another area that American Exceptionalism exists.
Speaking of freedom of choice, we can elect our own leaders, something that’s rare worldwide—less than 10% of the world’s population lives in countries with free elections. Some countries, like Brazil claim they have free elections, but they are hardly free when you are required to vote, and the candidates are selected by government panels. Your elections in Russia could hardly be called free when you have a choice between yourself and your puppet.
We are told that America is really a racist country, or so I’ve heard. I say I’ve heard, because I haven’t been witness to too much institutionalized racism. Oh sure, bigots are everywhere, but so are minorities. Minorities own businesses, coach professional sports teams, sit on the Supreme Court, even occupy the White House. Take a look at the leadership of other countries. In France, a bastion of liberal and leftist thought, when was the last time a minority was Prime Minister? It’s illegal in France to keep records of racial statistics (Imagine that in America!!!) but its estimated that peoples of African Ethic decent comprise 40% of the country’s population, yet the French National Assembly is hardly what you could call ‘ethnically diverse’, and I’m not aware of a French PM or President that was ever anything other than Caucasian.
How about Germany for that matter? Imagine a minority trying to run for Prime Minister of Japan; that’s not going to happen anytime soon. A non-Jew as head of Israel? America is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world. That fact that we get along at all is a miracle. Take a look at the genocides in Africa and the Balkans and you’ll know what I mean. While Russia is ethnically diverse, your nation has a history of religious and racial persecution and a human rights record that is abominable. You certainly could do better Vladimir.
And then there’s religion. You can worship anything you want in America, even Satan. No one really cares. There’s a lot of fear and mistrust about Muslims, but they pretty much are a peaceful lot, and certainly no one is going make a law outlawing them anytime soon. We’ve had Presidents from just about every religion in world, even a Roman Catholic, which many swore would never happen. But it did. Last year, the White House almost saw a Mormon as a resident. People talk about religion, of course, but in the end, the political parties aren’t focusing on that as to barring them because of their faith.
In India, as in many other nations however, religious faith is a bit more divided. They have caste systems based on faith and birth, good luck making a go of it in life if you come from the wrong family or religious background. Sometimes Americans make an ethnic slur in conversation or joke, but in India, being the wrong religion might cost you your life. A lot of African nations are like that too. Wrong tribe or god? A machete at your neck might be waiting for you.
European nations are more civilized about it, but they still have officially recognized religions as well. German constitution specifically prohibits discrimination by religion, but certain religions and churches are given tax credits and breaks over other ones. And that’s not state sponsored religion? Imagine those sorts of laws in America.
Then there’s that pesky lousy American health care system. In America , you can go to any doctor you want, no one will stop you, and there’s no waiting to get your illness treated, nor restriction on how you are to be treated. Nowadays though, Americans want it paid for too and it is unfortunately changing for the worse.
Overseas, most countries have some sort of state sponsored health care, which pays for most services. But you gotta wait in line for it. When something is paid for by someone else you generally have to get in a line, even here in America. Sometimes people wait as much 6 months or a year for non-emergency care—emergency being defined as bleeding all over the floor and about to die.
Notice I said state sponsored health care, and not free. Foreigners pay a lot more in taxes for their health care. Although by many estimates, they pay less overall this way, it’s no wonder when everyone is paying to wait in line rather than actually get some service. But they live longer. It’s easy to live longer when you spend you life in a line though, instead of out riding a hang gliders or flying a home built experimental plane or eating bags of cheeseburgers from a fast food joint on every corner. We live life to its fullest here in America; in Russia you live life when you can.
Hamsters live a long time too, when they are in a cage. I hardly think it’s worth it.
You might as well spend your life in a line waiting for doctor anyway, since it takes forever to get anywhere overseas. In America, you can walk out your door and be at your friends’ house 3,000 miles away in an afternoon, without anyone’s permission. In other countries, it’s a bit different. Assuming you have the proper documentation and travel permits, getting around is a little tough. Whereas in the United States, with the largest highway system in the world, you can simply hop into your car and drive door to door on paved roads, overseas is a bit more problematic. Few countries pave roads to everyone’s house, and air travel is expensive. Rails are available for the masses, assuming you are on their schedule and not your own.
Speaking of American highways, people complain about them and speak of the great infrastructure in other countries but numbers tell a different story. America has about 45,000 miles of direct highway roads which dwarfs most other nations. Even China, is second fiddle to us. The famed German autobahn, considered the best in the world, is only about 8,000 miles. And non-highways? The numbers in comparison here in the US are so large, they can’t be counted and hundreds of times longer than any other nation—even though as a percentage of both GDP and overall taxes, we pay less than any other nation.
More for less, that’s the American motto, that’s American Exceptionalism.
It’s a good thing too. Americans own more cars and newer cars than anywhere else in the world—about 80% of Americans own at least one car. The closest second? Luxembourg with about 70% penetration rate. The interstate 405 in LA handles about 400,000 cars per DAY. That’s more than most countries handle in a year. Even Germany only hits about 55% of the population in cars. It’s easy to keep your roads in better condition like in Germany when no one is using them and they only go from city to city, and pay twice as much in taxes for them.
America pretty much tops the charts in standard of living in just about every category. Sure you can point out things like I mentioned above but a detailed examination of the realities of costs to benefits shows the real story. To hear the leftists and foreigners talk about America you would think we were a nation of greedy racists who live in filth and squalor. Want to see filth and squalor? Spend a few months travelling to places like China, India, Africa or many parts of Europe and Russia. Want to see racism? Don’t go to Alabama; go to the Balkans where they fought wars for years about which race to exterminate. Think our roads are falling apart? Travel to most of the world that don’t even have paved roads at all to complain about—or hell even clean running water.
We are the only country that builds fences to keep people out. In Russia, you build them to keep them in.
Only one thing about Americans that IS true. We would complain about the rope we were hung on. There are a lot of fine things in the world, but better than America? Precious few.
So let’s keep it that way huh?
When people talk about how great things are in Europe or Canada, remind them otherwise. Then go hop into your convertible, put on some music on your IPod and have a tall cool one, and tell Putin to piss off.
Read more about this topic, in author Thomas Purcell’s book “The American Way: Why Superman™© Got it Wrong” in bookstores everywhere. It discusses in detail why American Exceptionalism should be the pattern for the world, and not the other way around.Click here for reuse options!
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