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Old 08-12-2008, 03:05 PM   #31
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I think the idea of any kind of exceptionalism (remember Solzhenitsyn preached Russian exceptionalism) is too stupid for words.
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America is not just a country, it's an idea.
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An idea nourished by our altruism and defended around the world with our military; not spread by propaganda or force but by a shining light on a hill.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #32
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^ and this justifies everything we do?
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:35 PM   #33
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An idea nourished by our altruism and defended around the world with our military; not spread by propaganda or force but by a shining light on a hill.
That sounds exactly like the mindless crap we were reciting back in 1st grade before they inducted us all into the Communist party.

It sounded stupid to me then, and it sounds equally as stupid to me today. Maybe even stupider given that I'm not 6 anymore.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:07 PM   #34
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An idea nourished by our altruism and defended around the world with our military; not spread by propaganda or force but by a shining light on a hill.


if by "American exceptionalism" we mean a national identity not forged in blood in soil, but one of active self-creation, then i might agree with you.

but to think that every foreign policy action is altruistic and comes from a shining *city* on a hill, well that's North Korean talk.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:14 PM   #35
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An idea nourished by our altruism and defended around the world with our military; not spread by propaganda or force but by a shining light on a hill.
Altruism? You can't possibly be serious. The US takes action when its own interests are threatened, or when there is a significant strategic gain to taking action. You would think that places like Rwanda and Darfur would be higher on the list than Iraq if we were in it for the altruistic goal of helping people live freer lives.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:38 PM   #36
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Altruism? You can't possibly be serious. The US takes action when its own interests are threatened, or when there is a significant strategic gain to taking action.
Well I'd hope so as a priority given that we don't have unlimited funds and manpower but we also have a stake and I think a duty in defending human liberty everywhere.
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You would think that places like Rwanda and Darfur would be higher on the list than Iraq if we were in it for the altruistic goal of helping people live freer lives.
Are you choosing to ignore the American Red Cross, U.S. foreign aid, food shipments, personal donations and volunteerism, et cetera.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:23 PM   #37
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Oh yeah, which is really exceptional and unique to the US.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:27 PM   #38
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this thread is beginning to feel like when you're an American in another country and you overhear another American tourist with a fanny pack and shorts and white socks speaking very LOUDLY and s-l-o-w-l-y to someone who doesn't speak English.

only marginally less embarrassing than being covered in maple leafs ... i kid! i kid!

on a more serious note, i'm not sure, INDY, that you're working under a historically accurate understanding of what is "american exceptionalism."
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:28 PM   #39
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Oh yeah, which is really exceptional and unique to the US.
Vincent, please. The rest of us are all communists who don't care about our fellow man so we don't have things like the Canadian Red Cross.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:39 PM   #40
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YES - if there is one thing people in here hate almost as much as republicans its - America.

Great responses

Love the sarcasm.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:42 PM   #41
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Altruism? You can't possibly be serious. The US takes action when its own interests are threatened, or when there is a significant strategic gain to taking action. You would think that places like Rwanda and Darfur would be higher on the list than Iraq if we were in it for the altruistic goal of helping people live freer lives.
I agree with your point. I would ask though isn't a crisis like Rwanda and Darfur on such a large scale a world reponsibility.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:45 PM   #42
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That sounds exactly like the mindless crap we were reciting back in 1st grade before they inducted us all into the Communist party.

It sounded stupid to me then, and it sounds equally as stupid to me today. Maybe even stupider given that I'm not 6 anymore.
Maybe.
But one should be able to differentiate between the "mindless crap" that freed Europe, fosters individualism, self-reliance, entrepreneurship but also philanthropism, allows the most pluralistic population in history to live harmoniously and that patrols its borders to keep people from sneaking in...not out; from the "mindless crap" that murdered 60 million people in the twentieth century.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:46 PM   #43
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^ and this justifies everything we do?

No, patriotism and nationalism are two different things.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:55 PM   #44
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INDY, the problem is that you think those things are somehow unique to the US. They are not. There are many countries like that - last I heard, Western Europe is philanthropic, I don't see Canada Customs patrolling our southern border to keep our citizens enslaved, I lived in the most multicultural city in the world according to UN data (it's Toronto, not New York, contrary to popular belief) where we had pluralism thrive, and so on.

I know you won't believe me, so I'm not sure why I try, but I've lived in 4 countries in my life. I don't count yours since I've only been here since this summer, it would however, make it 5. I will tell you that there is nothing that I have in NY that I didn't have in Toronto. Honest to God. I mean, there are obviously little things like way better shopping and extraordinary bagels, but hell you won't find a NY bagel in LA, nevermind the rest of the country, so this is more of a NYC type of thing.

I can make more money here, yes. But my rent is also substantially higher. Am I paying less tax? Actually, no, NYC has extraordinarily high income tax, higher than the highest marginal rate in Ontario. I have very good health insurance here supposedly, paid for entirely by my employer (I have no co-pay). Mercifully I haven't been sick so I haven't tested that out but to be honest if I got a major illness, I'd fly home ASAP in order not to tempt fate and some kind of huge thousand-dollar bill. I'm as free at home as I am here to eat what I want, not go to Church which I find really dull, go gay bar hopping with my dear gay friend from work, well except I can see my gay friend or my former lesbian roommate get married back home, can't do that here yet. I have the exact same channels on the TV here, except now I miss some of the Canadian ones; the internet is slower here but cell phone service is cheaper. The people are pretty much the same (as much as a New Yorker can ever be like anyone else out there). I have noticed absolutely no social difference here, although I do find other parts of the US to be quite different. Every day I pick one homeless man here and either give him $ or buy him lunch, depending on how much time I have. I did that back home as well, so it isn't that altruism is contagious here and I just caught it when I landed at LaGuardia.

I don't know what to tell you, but really, maybe you need to go live abroad for a while or something. A lot of your posts on this subject sound either naive or flat out insulting.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:59 PM   #45
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this thread is beginning to feel like when you're an American in another country and you overhear another American tourist with a fanny pack and shorts and white socks speaking very LOUDLY and s-l-o-w-l-y to someone who doesn't speak English.
Pas de problème parce que je parle un peu français.
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on a more serious note, i'm not sure, INDY, that you're working under a historically accurate understanding of what is "american exceptionalism."
I realize that there are many definitions for American exceptionalism including derogatory ones now favored by the anti-American left.
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