Where is this great, exceptional nation “they” keep talking about?

The United States is a shining beacon of morality, setting the standard for proper behavior the world over, they say.

The inspiration to other countries seeking to transform their societies into thriving cultures.

Our nation is a source of hope for the hopeless and for those oppressed by tyrants yearning to breathe freely.

What happens when great men come together and devise the perfect system of governance? The United States.

They say this and more about this country.

“They”, whoever they may be, are so wrong that all the money of Bezos, Buffett, and Gates couldn’t make them right.

We are a land of democracy. Well, we were before wealthy individuals began throwing billions at their candidates of choice, leaving “we the people” with little say in the course of the nation. Well, no, that’s not quite right. We weren’t a land of democracy when women couldn’t vote. Nor were we very democratic when African-Americans were seen as not quite human, and thus not able to vote. It’s more truthful to say we’ve never been a democracy, and we’ve been trying to fool ourselves and the rest of the world. We’ve seen varying degrees of success on that.

We (technically, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) dispense advice to other countries on who should be their president and what form of government they should have. As if we have any grounds to tell others how best to run their country. Despite many claims to the contrary, the United States is not a country that should be emulated.

  • Our so-called law enforcement officers kill Black, disabled, mentally ill, and Indigenous civilians with impunity,
  • our elected officials (across partisan lines) are increasingly viewed as catering to the interests of corporations rather than we the people,
  • we have a “President” who thinks Right-wing extremists (think ‘alt-right’, KKK, Nazi’s, Neo-Nazis’s, and Confederate supporters) are very fine people and openly admires dictators,
  • maternal mortality bucks the worldwide trend, rising up rather than downward,
  • hate crimes are on the rise,
  • the cost of living in many major U.S. cities is rising, while wages are stagnant,
  • more than half the population would be screwed if they were hit by a $1000 emergency,
  • rent is increasingly not affordable,
  • racism is endemic,
  • male violence against women and those perceived as women continues to be a major public health concern,
  • rape continues to be a high-cost crime for victims (who are largely women) and society,
  • conservative politicians created a climate of hysteria around the non-existent threat of transgender people using public restrooms as a way to push back against any advances of queer rights,
  • an entire political party has become dominated by extremists and zealots and characterized by a refusal to compromise, a contempt for facts and evidence, and a deep disdain/outright hatred of swathes of the population,
  • we have a massive problem with gun violence and with many politicians in the pockets of the gun lobby, insufficient political will to do anything more than offer thoughts and prayers
  • our government has acted–from the beginning and continuing through today–in ways that belie any claim to be just, fair, proper, humanitarian, moral, legal, and/or ethical. In fact, our government is responsible for a host of barbaric acts and atrocities, including the near genocide of Indigenous people of the Americas, the kidnapping of millions of Africans and the subsequent enslavement, subjugation, and exploitation of they and their descendants, at least two incidents of American soldiers slaughtering civilians during wartime (400 South Korean civilians during the Korean War and 300 Vietnamese civilians in the Vietnam War), multiple deadly airstrikes that killed civilians in Afghanistan,  the torture of Iraqi soldiers at Abu Gharaib, a litany of crimes committed by United States soldiers during World War Two, the human rights violating, Allied-led mass expulsion of German civilians in the wake of WW2 (I literally have to stop here bc I could go all night)
  • income inequality has grown to such an extent that it is arguable that we’ve entered a second Gilded Age
  • while there is agreement across party lines that climate change is a big problem, our “President” is a climate change denier who has worked to reverse efforts by President Obama to tackle the issue
  • student loan debt is a major problem (one that has led some people to consider–and others, to actually carry out–suicide), and is strongly tied to the dramatic rise in college tuition since 1980
  • healthcare in this country is byzantine, inefficient, costly, and inaccessible to swathes of the population and despite the majority of citizens supporting Medicare for all, the political will to make such a monumental change to our healthcare system is largely non-existent. In addition, we have a political party and it’s representative in the White House who have opposed and continually sought to eliminate one of the few measures that has brought healthcare to millions who did not previously have it before–the Affordable Care Act

That last one, incidentally, is one of the reasons why the Republican Party is evil in my book. If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, more than 2.9 million citizens of this nation would lose their health insurance (and the effects of such a repeal would reach beyond loss of healthcare coverage). To knowingly and purposefully eliminate needed healthcare coverage from people when not only is there no reasonable justification offered, but no replacement is even seriously put forth? Mitch McConnell may as well get on national tv and tell people he is thrilled to increase suffering, misery, and death among the citizens of this nation.

Someone tell me WHY THE FUCK this country should ever be considered great or exceptional?!

Someone I know is facing two conditions that are equally life threatening, cannot afford treatment for either, and has no health insurance.

How THE FUCK does that fit with the United States being an exceptional country where ppl are free to pursue their dreams…where life, liberty, and happiness are available to all…where the so-called “American Dream” is a lighthouse in the distance requiring no more than grit, willpower, and elbow grease?

HOW THE FUCK can anyone ever claim we are so great when across every metric that matters, our “greatness” can best be measured by the suffering and misery we inflict upon one another and the rest of the world?!




Where is this great, exceptional nation “they” keep talking about?

3 thoughts on “Where is this great, exceptional nation “they” keep talking about?

  1. 1

    You have many valid points in your post. I think the majority of the
    problems in this country are caused by it’s partisan vitriol. A huge part
    of this is attributable to the fact that if you agree with one platform of
    any party-you have to take the WHOLE platform. We are to be one of two
    types of group think. All actions in either party always panders to the
    extremes. The dismantling of government due to privatization has
    resulted in an increasingly theocratic course. This has once again promoted
    increased bigotry to which government has once again been complicit.
    Health care is a national disgrace. It is the same system as in the 1980’s.
    Your estimate on ACA -including expanded medicaid seems low to me.
    This solution is despised as many of the interests affected are opposed.
    Your churches implement(with prejudice, in my opinion) a
    huge portion of the social service platform and there interests are at odds
    with some of the coverage issues-as well as the fact that there are requirements
    for the medical systems that they are also in the business of operating.
    Medical device manufactures-don’t want to pay the tax. Everyone wants
    to make the money-but no one wants to contribute to the burden. Long term care
    has proven unworkable-another problem area of the current system.
    Overall, in the last 40+ years we haven’t solved any problems-and done little to make
    the country or world any better.

  2. 2

    I agree with many of your listed criticisms. What is always stipulated is that the market will find solutions. I have not found this. 1) Rent-there is a preponderance of buildings built that are 1000+ sq ft with amenities that many will not use. The only smaller units/more modest units are built by NGO’s – not by public companies! 2) Government is catering to the interests of business-including religious organizations – who, in my opinion, often operate with a prejudice that the government is in fact complicit with. 3) ACA Here I find your estimate low for loss of coverage-if you include those that are included with medicaid expansion. You also have to consider that A) the medical device industry does NOT want to pay taxes. Everyone wants to make the money- however, no one wants to shoulder any burden. B) The religious organizations loathe the religious provisions about covered services-they themselves operate many of the health care systems that this legislation effects. Some of these churches support universal coverage-but were rather quiet about this legislation. C) Long term care is unworkable for this program. What may seem trivial is a major detriment to many. I agree with universal coverage, though I think that it will accomplished through the use of insurers. Such as the use of HMO’s by both medicare and medicaid. The system needs to be streamlined though-there is too much redundancy and bureaucracy. The fact that our current system costs double that of other nations is ridiculous.

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