01 February 2014

American Exceptionalism: A Statement Of Fact

In recent days, I've seen a number of comments on blogs and elsewhere over Tennessee's proposed legislation promoting the teaching of "American Exceptionalism" in the state's public schools. The reaction from the left is the typical hand-wringing, "blame America first" attitude which emanates from that ideology. It's filled with nonsense, lies and ignorance.

What's interesting to note is the fact that this perspective on AE was the norm at one time in our country's schools and supported by the vast majority of those on the right and the left, Democrat and Republican. But liberals in America have evolved to the point where they now embrace what amounts to a disgust and a palpable disdain for our nation's founding principles and documents. Though admittedly flawed, our founding produced a nation which, in the words of Charles Murray, "had not counterparts anywhere else." That is an indisputable fact; a fact which makes America exceptional.

The opposition to efforts like we're seeing in Tennessee are motivated by the left's need to further their agenda - much of which is antithetical to our founding i.e., anti-capitalism and a bigger, more centralized government.

Below are a few excerpts and an excellent video clip from a site promoting Dr. Charles Murray's latest book (at 70 pages, more of a monograph than a "book") on the topic of AE, titled appropriately, American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History:
The phrase "American exceptionalism" is used in many ways and for many purposes, but its original meaning involved a statement of fact: for the first century after the Constitution went into effect, European observers and Americans alike saw the United States as exceptional, with political and civic cultures that had no counterparts anywhere else.

And Murray hits the nail on the head with this comment:
American exceptionalism is a fact of America’s past, not something that you can choose whether to “believe in” any more than you can choose whether to ‘believe in’ the battle of Gettysburg. Understanding its meaning is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand what it has meant to be an American.
Here's the link to the site promoting the book. The text accompanying the video is well worth the read as Murray cuts through the emotionalism which surrounds the debate. I will be adding Murray's latest to my ever-expanding list of must reads.

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