American exceptionalism

I’m thinking a bit about American exceptionalism lately: The belief that America is not just a great nation and civilization, but the greatest that ever was or ever will be.

And that white, Western-European derived, Christian culture is both the foundation and pinnacle of American culture.

According to the soft form of this belief, other nations, races and cultures can become equal to or even exceed individual white Americans, but only if they purge themselves of their original cultures, leaving only a little bit behind for flavor. They need to act white (with a little bit of their original culture remaining, as an accent).

Other forms of bigotry are marginalized in the US — although they’re tragically making a comeback. But American exceptionalism is still going strong; we require our politicians to explicitly endorse it.

Barack Obama is is the pinnacle of the soft form of American exceptionalism.

2 thoughts on “American exceptionalism

  1. empoprises

    You don’t explicitly state this, but it’s not only prevalent in politics, but also in the Christian religion itself, exemplified in the long-standing belief that Christian American missionaries should go to the uncivilized nations. Even if you accept the idea of evangelism (and I realize that many do not), the idea that the American Christians can teach the Chinese and African Christians wonderful things is questionable. Which is why we’ll have more African, Chinese, and other “uncivilized” Christian missionaries coming to the United States. Heaven knows we need it.

    I admit unfamiliarity with similar currents, if any, in Jewish thought. Are there American Jews who believe that they can teach the “backward” Israeli Jews how to do the right American thing? Possibly.

    Reply

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