Friday, November 12, 2010

American Exceptionalism

Continuing with the ‘bad’ news of yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor is the latest media outlet to report in its 11/8 issue that Iraq may be preparing a request to retain our troops ‘a bit’ longer. Alright! Wow, we’re #1! Nothing succeeds like success. We’re the best hired gun in town. And why not? These countries don’t have to do anything to get our blood and treasure; we’re just there for them, in a way we’re not just there for our own people. We’re happy to give and sacrifice because they are so appreciative. They need do nothing, just fuck things up and count on us to go in there and bail them out.

My god, you’d think they were American banks, Wall Street, or corporations! There’s no free lunch for you and me, and especially the poor people who need it, too bad for them and us it’s their own fault, after all as John Calvin pointed out, if they were good, god would smile on them. But the biggest banks, corporations, industries, well, alright, they get whatever they need, obviously they’re good and god smiles on them. After all, we have the best government money can buy. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, too, right? I mean after all, if the rich and powerful can’t get what they want, the rest of us be damned, in this the greatest capitalist democracy in the world, what are things coming to?

Shit, I wish that rant made me feel better. It did in a way. But my heart breaks when I see our noble experiment, the US of A, becoming, no being, the very things we really don’t want to be, the very things we wanted to shun when our country was founded and the noble experiment begun. It hurts when I think of us as just another empire doomed to sink beneath the tides of history. I thought we were better than that. Obviously we’re not. Our shit does stink. I’d like us to acknowledge that, that our shit does stink; that we’re just another failed and failing nation state if - if we keep on as we have as if our shit doesn’t stink.

Come on, folks, smell it; rub your face in it; if it looks like shit, smells like shit and makes you want to flush it down, it is shit! But everything that lives shits, so why not us? It’s OK to take a crap, but please, let’s not pretend it isn’t crap or that our crap is golden. As I said two days ago, we can do better. But first we have to quit deluding ourselves and see our shit as shit.

From the Ynetnews in Tel Aviv as reported in the Monitor, “The tens of thousands of documents exposed by Wikileaks portray an awful picture of a brutal American thug,” writes Eitan Haber. “America is under attack [and justifiably so, until we face our shit and start living up to our ideals]. It’s being blasted from every direction. This is the same America that was aiming to teach us a lesson; the same America that failed to understand (and will continue to fail) that war does not work in line with the noble vision of our Biblical prophets…. So what shall happen now? America is America – the world’s lone superpower [tho China and Russia are closing the gap]. Hence, it will continue to slam us, while carrying the banner of morality, justice, and model behavior.”

Is there more than a grain of truth in this? Or should we fall back on the idea that they’re jealous and hate us for our freedoms? American Exceptionalism. That’s the name of the concept. We can use it to build a world that works for everyone and everything, or we can use it to continue as we are building a world that soon will work for no one, not even the rich.

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