September 3, 2015

American exceptionalism and the Declaration of Independence

Many in politics like to refer to “American Exceptionalism” where they believe as Wikipedia describes the “United States is inherently different from other nations…. American conservative writers have promoted its use in that sense ... To them, the U.S. is like the biblical "City upon a Hill"— and exempt from historical forces that have affected other countries.”

This was mentioned often during the debate in Congress concerning the Iran Treaty. It prompted me to look back in history and see what other nations or civilizations thought about themselves. Here are some of my findings.

“ What made the Nazis’ hatred of the Jews so unusual is …. they believed the Jews were biologically and racially distinct and that there was a kind of biological struggle for dominance over the entire human race between the Jews and everybody else.” History.com

“China’’ in Chinese can be literally translated as “Middle Kingdom,’’ and “foreign nations’’ as “barbarians’’; thus Chinese rulers see no reason to export Chinese institutions since they imagine themselves at the center of the universe. The China syndrome

The Chinese have been around since 500 years before Christ. Historically, In the minds of many Chinese there was no reason to invade other lands because they felt China had nothing to learn from them since China was “the center of the world in terms of knowledge and culture”. This changed in the mid 1800’s when England invaded China and their swords were no match for guns and cannons.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence

American Exceptionalism is more akin to what the Nazis and Chinese believed than to the Declaration of Independence. You cannot consider yourself and your country exceptional and at the same time tout the phrase in the Declaration of Independence that says all men are created equal.

Choose Wisely.



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