American Exceptionalism

Understanding American Exceptionalism

See the source imageAmerican exceptionalism is the theory that the history of the United States is inherently different from that of other nations. In this view, American exceptionalism stems from its emergence from the American Revolution, thereby becoming what the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset called “the first new nation” and developing a uniquely a new ideology, “Americanism”, based on liberty, equality before the law, individual responsibility, republicanism, representative democracy, and laissez-faire economics. This ideology itself is often referred to as “American exceptionalism.”

Second is the misguided idea, including the use or misuse of gunboat diplomacy, that America has a unique mission to transform the world. As President Abraham Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg address (1863), Americans have a duty to ensure, “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Third, much like the German superiority complex before and during WWII, is the sense that America’s history and its mission give them a superiority complex over other nations.

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Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American Puritan roots Many Puritans with Arminian leanings embraced a middle ground between strict Calvinist predestination and their belief of Divine Providence. They believed that God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to provide a model for the other nations of the Earth. One Puritan leader, John Winthrop, metaphorically expressed this idea as a “City upon a Hill,” claiming the Puritan community of New England should serve as a model for the rest of the world. That metaphor is often misapplied by proponents of exceptionalism, where the light upon a hill has been used as a weapon to subjugate other nations, often decimating other nations in the process with impunity. The Puritans’ moralistic values have remained one component of the national identity for centuries, but today it had led the world into much immorality and degradation.

See the source image“I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from Me; for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled” Hosea 5:3

Such conception or misconception is still dominant today, as even as late as 2015 a book, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, by former US Vice President Dick Cheney sets out his misguided American exceptionalism and concludes: “we are, as Lincoln said, ‘the last, best hope of earth.’ We are not just one more nation, one more same entity on the world stage. We have been essential to the preservation and progress of freedom, and those who lead us in the years ahead must remind us, as Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan did, of the unique role we play. Neither they nor we should ever forget that we are, in fact, exceptional.”

One example resulted from this exceptionalism is the development of a craft of lying, cheating and stealing with a feeling of impunity of any wrong doing from the rest of the world:

“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole,” former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted with impunity at a forum at Texas A&M University.  Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster picked up on Pompeo’s words and described it as follows: “that’s not the resume of the Secretary of State… that’s the resume of Satan.”

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The end of the Cold War led to extraordinary hubris in Washington. What America says goes, and it  became the new foreign policy watchword. Even as America’s relative unilateral power waned, US policymakers became more determined to impose their will on the rest of the world.

Today no controversy is too small to ignore. No issue is too distant to disregard. No country is too friendly to harass. And no price is too high to impose. It still adheres to the notion that America’s ideas and principles as a nation give them “an unique place of moral leadership” and affirms that the US therefore must “retake its natural position as leader of the free world.”

But Washington is increasingly getting this perception wrong. If America truly believes in Divine Providence, then the notion above of providing a “moral leadership” to the world in this twenty-first century is false. Instead they should know that its end is near:

“Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be” Hosea 5:9

See another study on Manifest Destiny

Or another version of American Exceptionalism by Larry Romanoff in Unz Review – August 22, 2020 

“The US today has the greatest income inequality of all Western nations, surpassing China and more than a few undeveloped nations as well. From this, it has the lowest social mobility of most nations, meaning that improving one’s station in life is becoming increasingly impossible. If your parents are not educated and wealthy, you will never be either, and the American Dream is dead. The US today has the smallest middle class and the largest lower class of all major nations, the middle class having been mostly eviscerated in 2008, that process completing itself today, and will probably never now recover. Americans carry the largest amount of personal debt among all nations, including credit card debt and increasingly unrepayable student loans, and the US now leads the world in personal bankruptcies. Since 2008, according to the US government’s own statistics, the US has the lowest percentage of home ownership at 57%, ranked 43rd in the world, far below China at 90%, and America now has a virtual epidemic of homelessness compared to most other nations, with untabulated millions of homeless families with children.”


~ by Joel Huan on August 31, 2020.

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