Debunking the Left’s Debunking of American Exceptionalism
While most of us were celebrating Independence Day and praising the greatness of our nation, some individuals on the Far Left decided that this was the proper day to insult and diminish this country. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that our country has flaws, but focusing on those flaws (especially on the 4th of July) displays an unjustified disdain for such a prosperous and uniquely free country. Throughout the day, I noticed many Liberals bashing any reference to how great America is and American Exceptionalism, but what really caught my eye was an article that was posted by @Shoq on twitter (someone who is often characterized as one of the top online thinkers on the left):
The link proceeds to an article supposedly debunking American Exceptionalism. I will now try to address a few of the points the article makes by quoting it and adding commentary afterward.
“However, a brief perusal of the state of the nation reveals that America is exceptional, but only for having the greatest military in the world; otherwise, there really is nothing exceptionally good about this country.”
So the record amounts in charity that Americans give every year, not to mention enormous totals in government aid to developing nations is not “exceptionally good”? Freeing Iraqi and Afghani people from murderous and oppressive regimes was not “exceptionally good”? Record funding of the fight against Aids and other diseases in third world countries is not “exceptionally good”? I could go on and on about the enormous list of things that this country does that most would consider aspects of our exceptionally good nature, but the far left seems blind to these things.
“American exceptionalism is a cause for shame and embarrassment to any decent human being who cares about freedom and equality.”
Then consider me non-decent because I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed, in fact I am proud of this country. The freedom that exists here is unmatched anywhere else, but of course the left has created a new definition of freedom that suits their goals.
“There are myriad examples of Republican policies that target women, gays, and the poor with scripturally-based discrimination that belies the fact that Americans enjoy unparalleled equality.”
First, obviously this is a complete lie about what Republican policies do. Second, this is a common misconception that the left creates. We do not support equality in this country, but liberty. The two are diametrically opposed. America allows everyone to have an opportunity to prosper (I can attest to this as someone from an immigrant family that came here with nothing), but by no means assures everyone an equal result. Equality assumes that people have no choices and the only places that have had near equality are dictatorial regimes where almost everyone besides the government has ended up equally poor (The leftist blueprint).
“In America, there are a minimum of 8 times as many people in prison than the closest country”
Of course the author fails to note that we have a significantly larger population than most countries or consider the possibility that this is in fact a credit to our justice system. If people are actually committing crimes, then what is so bad about them getting a just punishment? Furthermore, the United States does not lock up people for holding certain political views or certain speech like many of the countries that this author unfavorably compares us to.
“When Bill Clinton left office, there was a budget surplus that was squandered on tax cuts for the wealthy and two unnecessary wars, but Republicans have always preferred to spend money on bombs and bullets than programs to educate and feed the poor.”
When Bill Clinton left office, we were in the early stages of a downturn caused by the internet bubble bursting, which only got worse when we were hit by the terrorist attacks of September 11th. It is clear that the surplus from the previous year would have evaporated shortly with or without these aspects of Republican policy. Second, some would argue that those wars were not completely unnecessary and are part of the reason we have not had another serious attack in over a decade. Thirdly, tax cuts are not expenditures (thus cannot be squandered) as the money does not belong to the government, but instead to the people who earned it (Not to mention the economic growth, increased tax revenue and job growth those cuts created). Finally, the author might want to look at budgets during the Bush years, where he will notice that spending on Education and Poverty programs both increased continuously. However, I do enjoy the straw man that the author built here in order to pretend Republicans are choosing one cost over another. By that standard liberals who support funding Planned Parenthood prefer spending money on Abortions rather than programs to educate and feed the poor (see how that works?).
“In budget talks, Republicans refuse to reduce military spending when the country is drowning in debt and a huge percentage of the population is losing their homes and starving.”
In fact, it was a Republican named Allen West who proposed and passed a recent bipartisan bill to cut wasteful defense spending. On the other hand, it was Democrats who refused to give up funding for Planned Parenthood in budget talks while “a huge percentage of the population is losing their homes and starving”.
“Michele Bachmann, a presidential candidate, advocates and encourages Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous” to reject federal laws that do not benefit the oil industry as well as a lie that President Obama is overtaxing the public.”
This was a lie that was started by Paul Krugman of the NYT and the left continues to use. If you bother looking at the full quote, Bachmann was referring to being “armed and dangerous” with KNOWLEDGE regarding Obama’s Cape and Trade proposals, which ironically would most egregiously hurt poor people, the very ones liberals claim to care about. As for the authors constant chirping about gun violence, if he is so concerned then maybe he should ask the Obama administration to not sell guns to criminals?
“The reasons America is exceptional are shameful and do not represent what is supposed to be the greatest country on Earth. In fact, Americans have very little to be proud of”
That is what the far left really believes. This is not a partisan issue, but an ideological one. Bill Clinton once remarked that “there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America”, well now is the time for Democrats who believe that to stand up to the people on their side who do not. These Leftists are almost proud of their contempt for America, as if disregarding all of the great things about this country somehow gives them some superior insight; it does not. The truth is that America is an exceptional nation that is still the shining beacon on a hill. This is still the country that does the most good across the world and whose citizens enjoy unparalleled liberty. These are things that every American should be proud of. There are millions of immigrants that pray to come here and enjoy those liberties. On the same account, there are many countries that already employ many of the policies that these individuals on the Far Left promote. My suggestion to them is if they don’t like it here or are not proud of this country then they should make room for those that would be. God Bless America.