- American exceptionalism, the idea that America is specially blessed by God above all other nations, with a special mission, or the idea that creativity, innovation, hard work, ruggedness, etc. are somehow uniquely American values, or that America is somehow the "best" country in the world.
That is not what American exceptionalism means. What it does mean is that, when looking at the empirical evidence, we have one of the freest nations on earth, and that such freedom has, in fact, produced a great deal of creativity and innovation, leading to a very prosperous nation. [/quote]
No, American exceptionalism does not mean "we are one of the freest nations on earth." That doesn't make us exceptional. It also doesn't mean we are a "very prosperous nation." There are other very prosperous nations. American exceptionalism means we are exceptional. Hence the word "exceptionalism."
Our particular version of Capitalism (no the version supported by Obama) allows for greater freedom, more wealth for more people, and creative innovation.
Your neocon capitalism and Obama's capitalism with a human face are two sides of the same coin.
support for American imperial policies; I don't think that most Americans support this.
I remember the run-up to the Iraq war quite clearly. Do most Americans support imperialism? I don't know, but the loudest ones certainly do. I overheard, the other day, a news anchor saying (about the mid-east revolts) "We all love democracy, but is this in America's interest?"
I think you need to understand that, for Americans, patriotism and love for the government and it's decisions are not the same thing.
I think you need to understand that I am an American too, I live with Americans, I spend most of my time around Americans, and so I know first hand how ridiculous it is to claim that "Americans believe (blank)" as if we are a homogenous monolithic society.
Bologna. We spend tons of time studying the negative aspects of our past.
And yet so little time considering the effects it continues to have today in our society.
But what we also recognize is that the founding philosophies of our country, "That all men are created equal" led to the end of slavery in our country. Thanks be to God.
One could just as well say that the ideology of "states' rights" preserved slavery to the bitter end. Many today continue to justify the Confederate cause as a fight for "states' rights" in which slavery was a peripheral issue.
It took more than fine words to abolish slavery, but John Brown is still vilified in many places.
Again, I remind you of Cherston's statement. We love our country, even when it's wrong, and we need to behave as such. Part of our Patriotism is criticizing our government when it is wrong.
Criticizing a particular configuration of that government is one thing; criticizing the underlying ideology a wholly different matter.
Most Americans are now against the war in Iraq.
Usually for the wrong reasons.
Loving the country is not the same as loving the government.
I love many people in this country. I love many cultural elements that have arisen here. I love its wealth of natural beauty. On the other hand, I hate its capitalism, its general foreign policy, and its prevailing popular culture. On the matter of democracy I am ambivalent. I don't hold to it as an absolute principle or as the best possible government. Am I a patriot to you?