exceptionalism (3)

Putin on American Exceptionalism

Putin said a lot of things in his recent letter to the American people via an opinion article in the New York Times, and while some could be looked at a stretches of truth or reinterpretations of events (Putin is a politician after all), Putin did conclude his writing with a point about American Exceptionalism that, were it to come from someone other than the head of Russia, might actually have been paid attention to. Imagine someone else saying this so that you can read and try to comprehend what he is saying:

"My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal." - Putin

What do you think about Mr. Putin's words on American Exceptionalism? Does he have any truth in what he says? Is he just trying to distract us? Is he simply a Communist saying things, or do his words contain some semblance of truth?

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Jeb Bush at the recent Faith and Freedom Coalition conference said immigrants are more likely to start and succeed in small business than American-born citizens.  I assume that in making such a statement there are the statistics that bear that out.  Given Bush is correct, what does that say about our long-held belief in American exceptionalism.  Granted, we have never believed that the American people are in any manner superior to any other people around the globe.  Rather, we believe that American exceptionalism is rooted in the convergence of many fundamental concepts, e.g., limited government, free enterprise and rugged individualism, and the heritage of our nation and its unsurpassed Constitution. 

How, then, is it possible that immigrants, not raised in this environment can nonetheless excel over our own people?  How can immigrants, not exposed to all the opportunities granted the American people in the course of their growing up, out-perform Americans?  Do Bush's remarks, in effect, constitute an indictment against our national education system?  We have known for years that the education system in America, for the most part, is failing our children.  The liberals and progressives who have exerted undue influence in the system for several decades now have left it in complete ruin.  We hear and use the term "dumbing down" so much that we have de-sensitized ourselves to the problem.  We have learned to accept lower educational standards for our children.  We have learned to accept greater and greater costs to educate our children without accountability from those to whom the money flows.  Now comes Common Core, the complete takeover of the education system by the federal government (meaning the far left).  What little integrity and effectiveness remains in our education system will be completely destroyed by Common Core, as the system will complete the final leg of its journey away from a knowledge-based instructional system to a system of indoctrination and propagandism.  But that is another discussion.

The truth is, American exceptionalism is not a "right" nor a guarantee.  Yes, you can be born an American citizen, grow up in the midst of all that is America, and never be exceptional.  American exceptionalism is not a birthright, but it is a standard.  For to those who embrace it, who work hard and run the race well, their dreams are possible, albeit not certain.  But possible is enough for hope, and it is hope that compels people to commit to dreams and to endure the inevitable hardships.

American exceptionalism is a support structure, if you will, that avails itself to anyone at any time who is willing to work hard.  It is an American exclusive here for the taking.  But it is fragile, and the assault on its mighty underpinnings by the far left is fierce and relentless.  It cannot prevail under big government.  It cannot prevail if the rights and privileges accorded us by the Constitution begin to falter at the hands of immoral men hungry for power and control over us all.  Ironically, those who drink from the well of American exceptionalism are not necessarily those who are charged with its protection.  Only Americans can protect and preserve American exceptionalism, handing it down to the next generation.  Immigrants, though grateful beneficiaries, cannot participate it its preservation until they achieve citizenship status.

So, why do immigrants succeed while Americans fail?  One word - motivation.  Immigrants come to America knowing it is THE best hope in all the world where the freedom to succeed can be had.  Our own children, however, are raised with an entitlement attitude that robs them of the motivation and personal responsibility necessary to compete and to thrive.  For now, American exceptionalism is alive, however bruised.  And it remains available to anyone of any background who is prepared to appropriate it for their benefit.  If Americans are either unwilling or incapable to do so, then by all means, let the immigrants step forward.


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Trent Derr - American Exceptionalism


President Reagan was a strong advocate of Peace through Strength. Essentially he believed that foreign powers were less likely to engage with the United States militarily if they were certain that they would receive immediate, disproportionate punishment from our armed forces. It’s the same philosophy that most of us were smart enough to learn in grade school: Bullies don’t pick on the strong kids. They pick on the weak kids. If a bully picks on you, punch them really hard in the nose. Not only will they go away, they will probably not pick on you again. They will slink off and look for a weaker target.


Along with Peace through Strength, Reagan had several other beliefs that guided his thinking regarding protecting America from foreign enemies. First: there is good and evil. Second, in facing evil, it is justified to use military force. Third, if we are going to use force, use overwhelming force. Fourth, nation building works if you have a nation to begin with. Fifth, technology and innovative tactics both help overcome manpower or military imbalances. Finally, always leave your enemies guessing how extreme your military response might be.


There is good and evil. There is right and wrong. Reagan clearly would have seen both Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda as evil and threats to the citizens of the United States.  Continue...
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