There are several days Americans celebrate communally that are not religious in nature, and of course, there are days of Thanksgiving, recognition of mothers and fathers, and important days set aside to recognize the sacrifice our brave military. There is only one day to celebrate our nation and it has turned into a time to simulate war with outrageous firework displays as well as a time to reflect on the great nation America became. From sea to shining sea, in every community in the nation, houses are regaled in red, white, and blue with an abundance of flag waving to show the pride Americans have for the greatest nation in the world. However, a brief perusal of the state of the nation reveals that America is exceptional, but only for having the greatest military in the world; otherwise, there really is nothing exceptionally good about this country.
Republicans have condemned President Obama for not trumpeting American exceptionalism; but the truth is, American exceptionalism is a cause for shame and embarrassment to any decent human being who cares about freedom and equality. On this Independence Day, instead of swilling cheap American beer and fouling the air with sulfur-dioxide fumes, it is worth mourning the deplorable conditions conservatives have imposed on the majority of the population. There are myriad examples of Republican policies that target women, gays, and the poor with scripturally-based discrimination that belies the fact that Americans enjoy unparalleled equality. There is no equality in America for all citizens, and although social conservatives are proud of their record of discrimination and subjugation of non-believers, religious-inspired discrimination is only the tip of the iceberg.
In America, there are a minimum of 8 times as many people in prison than the closest country and it is exceptional that the richest country in world incarcerates more of its citizens than the next five countries combined. It is difficult to understand how any American can be proud that such large segments of the population are convicts. What an exceptional country.
When Bill Clinton left office, there was a budget surplus that was squandered on tax cuts for the wealthy and two unnecessary wars, but Republicans have always preferred to spend money on bombs and bullets than programs to educate and feed the poor. America is exceptional in that we spend more on military programs than the next 25 industrial countries combined. In budget talks, Republicans refuse to reduce military spending when the country is drowning in debt and a huge percentage of the population is losing their homes and starving. What an exceptional country.
The deplorable conditions in America have put undue stress on the poor, and a failed war on drugs has resulted in America have the highest murder rate than the next five countries in the world combined. Republicans refuse to consider any type of reasonable gun control and they have worked a violent, extremist segment of the population into frenzy that any gun control is tantamount to eliminating the 2nd Amendment. In fact, some of the violent conservative candidates have advocated insurrection and violence against the government in a ploy to garner voter support. Michele Bachmann, a presidential candidate, advocates and encourages Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous” to reject federal laws that do not benefit the oil industry as well as a lie that President Obama is overtaxing the public. America has more gun violence than every other country in the world that is not involved in an active war. It is an exceptional statistic that conservatives are proud of, but it is a source of shame for decent Americans.
It is more shameful and exceptional that in America, nearly 20% of children live in poverty and are hungry every day of their lives. America is the richest country in the world and gives taxpayer dollars to a filthy rich oil industry, but cannot afford to care for our children. For the cost of one day of war in Iraq, the program (WIC) to feed children and poor mothers could be funded for an entire year. However, Republicans slashed funding to WIC to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. What an exceptional country Republicans have created. Are you proud yet?
America is so exceptional, that nearly 9% of the population is homeless and a large percentage are war veterans. It is how a grateful nation run by conservatives shows their support for our brave soldiers who are killing Arabs to ensure Dick Cheney and his cohorts in the oil industry maintain their obscene profits. Apparently, in conservative ideology, it is exceptional to abuse veterans as soon as they return from the theatre of war. If abusing war veterans makes conservatives proud and feel exceptional, then decent Americans should feel abject shame.
Republicans claim to believe in the sanctity of life and use the phrase to restrict a woman’s right to choose their own reproductive health, but in defending the alleged sanctity of life, they are also defunding programs that keep that singing, talking, laughing fetus healthy. The infant mortality rate in America is exceptional in that it is higher than every developed country in the world. For any human being to exude pride for enacting legislation calling a zygote a person with a conscience, feelings, mathematical skills, and the ability to praise god and then refuse to care for that zy-person is beyond comprehension and a cause for shame for decent human beings. Are you still proud of America and its exceptional disregard for infants, or prideful for producing dead babies in the richest country in the world? If you are proud of that statistic, then you must be a conservative Christian and a Republican.
The list of reasons to be ashamed of America goes on indefinitely and is incredibly depressing for reasonable, decent human beings. When Republicans finish transforming America into a third-rate, backward country where science and reason are replaced with superstition and ancient mythology, most of these depressing statistics will make sense. Republicans enjoy the notion of America as a tribal society where the population is destitute and begging for scraps of food from wealthy industrialists, and is a cause of pride and a reason to boast about American exceptionalism.
On this Independence Day, instead of pride in an exceptional country, Americans should reflect on the humiliation and shame Republicans have brought about over the past 30 years. The reasons America is exceptional are shameful and do not represent what is supposed to be the greatest country on Earth. In fact, Americans have very little to be proud of, and if we are exceptional for treating such a huge segment of the population with contempt and utter disregard, then this country is indeed no better than Afghanistan. If you are proud of the condition of America and the way it treats 98% of its population, then you must be a conservative Christian and a Republican. This author is profoundly ashamed of America and wonders why Republicans and social conservatives are allowed to devastate what was once a decent country with impunity; especially when we could be so exceptional for all the right reasons.