American Exceptionalism

When you hear “American Exceptionalism”, what crosses your mind?  Do you think it’s something real, or do you think it’s something else?  If you think it’s something real, what do you think it is?

Is it the Supreme Court declaring that Blacks have no more constitutional rights than a soiled diaper?  [Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856)]

Is it four consecutive Presidents sending 58,000 of us to die in rice paddies halfway around the world for no reason?  [Vietnam War]

Is it a President sending thousands of us to die in the desert halfway around the world to invade a nation, based on false statements about it having weapons of mass destruction that it was preparing to use against us?  [Iraq War]

Is it a President getting elected by falsely promising to “regain America’s moral stature in the world” by closing Guantanamo and by falsely promising to never use Presidential Signing Statements?  [Barak Obama]

Is it the Supreme Court declaring that a corporation in one State can spend an unlimited amount of money to influence Senatorial elections in all fifty States, even though the Constitution says “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof”?  [Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)]

Is it the Vice President threatening to withhold our nation’s financial aid to the Ukraine unless the Ukraine immediately fires a Ukrainian prosecutor who is investigating a Ukrainian company for corruption, a company that has Vice President’s son on its payroll?  [Joe Biden]

Is it a Congresswoman telling people to assault members of the President’s Cabinet: “If you see anybody from the Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere”.  [Maxine Waters]

Is it a Presidential candidate demeaning Americans who vote for her opponent as “deplorables”?  [Hillary Clinton]

Is it a wealthy actress engaging in a deceptive scheme including paying $500,000 to get her daughters into the University of Southern California, or a teenager with unimpressive credentials and the “right” connections getting into Yale?  [Lori Loughlin and George W. Bush]

Is it Congress voting in favor of Articles Of Impeachment against President Nixon.  impeaching President Clinton, and exerting its best efforts to impeach President Trump since his election?

Is it the Ohio National Guard’s May 4, 1970 unjustifiable politically-motivated assassination of Allison B. Krause, Jeffrey Glenn Miller, Sandra Lee Scheuer, and William Knox Schroeder on the campus of Kent State University, without anybody being convicted of anything?

Is it We The People uniting in the goal of “government of the people, by the people, for the people”?  [President Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address”, November 19, 1863]

American Exceptionalism?

Stephen B. Benisch, October 2, 2019

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