September 17, 2009

American Exceptionalism

The next episode of GDAE Podcast, #18, addresses the issue of American Exceptionalism. The following excerpt from the podcast is motivated by a blog post by Lance Stegall, the Seminal:

The idea represented by the term American Exceptionalism, first coined by Alexis de Tocqueville, views the United States of America as superior among nations almost as if god-given. The "Gods" were the "founding fathers," and the US form of democracy is viewed as not only the best, but unsurpassable. This station in the world of all nations justifies the actions of the United States, with Manifest Destiny being one of the more compelling historical proofs, in addition to the genocide of native americans, the Vietnam war and the Southern and Central American dirty wars of the 1970s and 1980s. Slavery was just "a mistake," as was the fact that my grandmother was nearly 20 years old before women gained the right to vote in this "exceptional" nation of ours.

GDAE Podcast #18 explores the implications of the American myth, including its effect on the liberal mindset, the US media and the prospect for our democracy. If "only the truth will set you free," then Americans need to grapple with the false mythology embodied by the notion of American Exceptionalism.



libhom said...

Most people see their countries through an exceptionalist lens. The difference is that the US has such disproportionate power, making American exceptionalism more dangerous.

GDAEman said...

As in "a large child lumbering around the world with bombs."

Thanks for the visit libhom.