This commentary is based upon material broadcast by CNN, Fareed Zakaria, Global Public Square, 02.21.16. Several Republican presidential candidates have asserted that President Barack H. Obama’s policies are transforming America as a nation, as well they should. But the essential question is “What makes America exceptional?”
CNN, Global Public Square, Fareed Zakaria stated, “All politicians and even Obama use that word, “EXCEPTIONAL”. Most genuflect before it. But few actually define it. Today America’s exceptionalism is seen to be economic. Many say that Obamacare (2010 ACA), Energy policy and the Dodge-Frank financial regulations have all violated a core (value) between America and the rest of the world by expanding the role of the ‘State’ in the economy. But, how different is the American government comparatively? The conservative Heritage Foundation publishes annually an annual index of economic freedom that ranks countries based on their degree of economic freedom from (their own) government. America comes in 11th, behind Canada, Austraia, Ireland, New Zealand, Chile, Israel and Singapore. That does not seem very exceptional.”
“But, from the beginning America was exceptional. That was based on something other than tax policy. What about ‘freedom’. Certainly ‘liberty’ was central. But the French Revolution was also fueled by a civilized (libertad) idea that was never implemented successfully.”
“What, then, made America truly exceptional from the start? It was a country founded not on race, religion or ethnicity, BUT ON IDEAS…AND USUALLY THOSE IDEAS WERE OPEN (i.e., available) TO ALL. This openness to people, cultures, and religions created a new person: THE AMERICAN.”
“The great historian of the American founding, Gordon Wood, explains his view of the American exceptionalism. “In an important sense, (America) has never been a nation in any traditional meaning of that term. We, Americans, do not have a nationality the way other peoples do. Which establishes why we (America) can absorb any immigrants more easily than they (other nations) can. Other countries have small states and low taxes. There are many liberal democracies, even republics, in the world today, but there are no other countries, which from this outset, believes in the idea of openness and a mixture of peoples as central to its founding. America is a nation created on the basis of diversity, of race, religion, and national origin. And there are efforts to change America. There are plans for religious and ethnic tests to bar immigrants and even visitors. And also extract visitors when they are in the U.S.A. These (ideas) call to deport people, even American citizens. There are proposals to monitor even Houses of Worship. These ideas would fundamentally change America. Tearing at its founding DNA. We would become much more like the rest of the world in which certain ethnic groups and religions are privileged and others are outsiders. (We become) a country in which diversity is a threat to (our) national character rather than a friend.”
“And, who is proposing these changes? The last time I (Fareed Zakaria) checked, IT WAS NOT BARACK OBAMA.” For more, go to read his Washington Post column.
So the above is a compressed presentation of what is really going on during this 2016 election year. Several presidential candidates mis-speak and, as an outcome, present propaganda which is very much UN-AMERICAN. Consider if these mis-representations are unintentional or deliberate. They still reflect personal beliefs of “White Supremacy, bigotry, racial bias, and prejudice”. These are remnants of beliefs by certain groups who believed that any leadership is to be executed only by their White membership. This is why certain White Congressional leaders met that very same afternoon, after President Obama’s inauguration as the first African American to be elected “President of the United States of America”. That small group of White Congressional leaders plotted to limit President Obama to one term….and they failed because “We, the People” knew that Obama’s values and ideals were more like ours than were theirs. “We, the People” even elected Obama to serve a second term. Consider that President Obama’s leadership emphasizes diplomacy first rather than a knee-jerk military response to international affronts. Obama brought our military forces home because diplomatic negotiation came first. It takes more strength and commitment to American ideals to use negotiations first (and the big stick later).
Take into account that “American interests” in the Middle East are really those of BIG OIL Corporations which have enough wealth to hire mercenaries to protect their property anywhere.
It was Obama’s policy to implement sustainable green energy (wind and solar) which decreased crude oil demand which, in turn, resulted in low gasoline prices (down from over $4 per gallon to $1.89 per gallon). Now all folks have more money in their pockets for discretionary consumerism of their choice.
That is why Latinos are ‘missing out’ when their citizenry do not vote in the great numbers potentially possible. Latinos will count when they vote; Not until then.
I recommend that each American citizen register to vote; plan to read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution including its amendments. The first ten U.S. Constitutional amendments are called, “THE BILL OF RIGHTS” because America’s Founding Fathers assembled them and ‘attached them’ in order to emphasize the specific IDEAS by which this American nation is to be ‘exceptionally governed’. Each individual is deemed to have “certain inalienable rights…which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And each individual is to be treated equally ‘under America’s laws by its judicial system’. That is why America is exceptional! It is a work in progress.