America is exceptional.
She is not perfect and her citizens are not better people than citizens of other nations. But American Exceptionalism is real.
It’s not bragging because I had nothing to do with creating it; it’s expressing gratitude by acknowledging the exceptionally blessed circumstances in which we live.
People from all around the globe are clamoring to get into the USA, while very few are seeking to get out (though they may still whine about it and are free to leave, which is not the case in many other nations). It’s always surprising to me when people argue that it’s wrong on humanitarian grounds to deny people from other countries entrance into America, but also argue that we should be more like those countries from which people trying to escape.
Our Founders devised a system whereby people have the freedom to elect their own representatives in controlling their own governance – a radical departure from the tyranny of royal monarchies, believed to be chosen by God to rule the people. Our system also provides freedom of enterprise that takes a potential negative (human greed and self-interest) and turns it into a positive (unsurpassed innovation, efficiency, and bounty through competition for resources that people freely choose to spend on the goods and services they truly want).
The American system has produced the greatest nation in history, not the American people’s inherent superiority or relative greatness. Nevertheless, people obsessed with fairness or unfairness (as they see it), are fixated on the unequal results produced by natural human differences within that exceptional system. So they demonstrate by blocking traffic or looting and they protest by burning the flag or not standing during the National Anthem. But what they’re actually protesting is our freedom! They offer no solutions, just complaints; they do not suggest a better form of government than our system, they just disrespect it. What they’re really complaining about is human nature and the fact that we’re all born with different attributes and abilities so we end up with different results.
The Founders realized the imperfections of the human condition and designed a system to maximize freedom and opportunity despite the imperfect nature of human beings.
It doesn’t mean that government intervenes to make an imperfect world perfect, or to make everyone the same by giving people born with fewer skills or talents more ability. It means that our system capitalizes on the inherent differences in human beings to manifest in the greatest good for the greatest number.
When people can’t handle the fact that we will never all be the same, they want government to fix that “unfair” condition. Because that can never be accomplished, they feel they are “victims” and they demonstrate or protest by throwing little (or big) tantrums without offering any way to improve the system.
This is classic victimism – comparing the present situation with perceived perfection; obsessing over unfairness; blaming the American system; and taking comfort in woundedness by appearing to be “sympathetic” or “brave” when all they’re really doing is complaining that the world is not fair.
But it is entirely possible to live in a grossly unfair world and be exceedingly grateful for the freedom afforded by an exceptional system because it offers the most fairness. In fact, it’s not only possible, it’s recommended.