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American Exceptionalism is an idea that has been around for centuries, although

in more recent years it's becoming more and more obvious as capitalism evolves. Its
the idea that America is different from other countries based on not only our unique
government but our self-righteous mission to spread liberty and democracy to the rest
of the world. This in my personal opinion is an excuse to occupy countries with
valuable resources, keep military bases close to potential threats of the United States,
and essentially get away with terrorism while still being the good guys. Americas
somewhat unique form of government is still controversial all over the world. We, as well
as other countries, see the United States as A city upon a hill while some see
capitalism as the root of all evil. So which one is it?
In my opinion, America doesnt have a great government and certainly not a
superior culture. Regardless, there are exceptional things about America that are worth
mentioning. America is known as the melting pot because of such diversity in; race,
culture, religion, languagesetc. which lets us understand other peoples point of view
and helps us to be more open-minded. Also our system of Free-Enterprise makes it
possible for people born poor, who in some countries would almost certainly die poor, to
become rich if they work hard enough and educate themselves (as well as a degree of
luck). Even though our voting process isnt perfect, the fact that everyone gets one vote
was exceptional as opposed to one king and queen. It was a relatively new idea when
America was first founded but many other countries eventually adapted it for
themselves as well. It made it possible for the people to shape their government without
a violent revolution. All of these things, as well as our advanced military, have gained us
the title of the Leader of the Free World. As much as I enjoy being on the leading side of

anything, there are adverse consequences that come with that title. Obviously theres a
great sense of superiority, which not only closes our minds to ideas of inferior
countries but costs countless human lives. I feel as if weve publicly dehumanized
nearly the whole Middle East, similar to how all of Nazi Germany felt towards the Jews
in the holocaust. On September 11, 2001, nineteen members of al-Qaeda hijacked a
plane and crashed it into the World Trade Center killing nearly 3,000 people. (Hendrix,
2011) Fearful and War-hungry, we immediately retaliated with over a decade long
ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and a couple years later Iraq. Resulting in the deaths
of almost 150,000 Iraqi and Afghani civilians and counting. ( 2013)
Thats fifty times more civilians killed than in 9/11! Ive yet to see a single day of
mourning for those innocent people and their families as we do on 9/11; its surprising if
it even makes the front page of the newspaper. If a country were to do the same to us,
theyd likely be nothing more than nuclear waste. All of these tragic deaths as well as
$1,300 billion spent happened with the intention to destroy al-Qaeda and deny them
sanctuary of movement in Afghanistan, as well as establishing a new government
regime in Iraq. A reasonable goal with what seemed like pure intentions, as well as
taking the necessary precautions to keep us safe. After a few years though it was pretty
clear that was not our intention at all, but rather to control the Persian Gulfs oil while
setting up as many military posts as possible surrounding Iran; making for easy
retaliation if were attacked again. The United States accepts the astronomical price of
the war in the Middle East so we may remain the Leaders of the Free World. This is a
prime example of Exceptionalism that should make all question their loyalty for this

Although not as relatable to most alive today, its even more disturbing how we
handled and continue to handle our nuclear weapons. On August 6, 1945 with
pressures to end WWII the United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in war
over Hiroshima, Japan killing 90,000-150,000 people. (CNN 2013) Three days later
they dropped the second and last atomic bomb used in war over Nagasaki killing
60,000-80,000 people. Most of the casualties were civilians, not to mention the birth
deformities for generations after, complete loss of land and water for decades to come
due to radiation, and the 100,000 or so people walking around with their skin melted off.
While 30% of Japan rested in a shallow grave that night, of course America had a day of
mourning for those lives lost right? Wrong. Meanwhile on the western front people
paraded in the streets celebrating Japans surrender. In fact, there was very little said
about the casualties of the atom bombs in the following months. Today, being the only
country to ever use an atomic bomb, we possess the most by far and were extremely
exclusive about who we allow to make them. This is yet another tragic story of the
capitalist mentality which, unfortunately, is hammered into all Americans before were
even able to talk. Theres a general mindset that its Americas Godly right to lead the
world to greatness. An extreme sense of entitlement that I dont believe will ever go
away and will most likely lead to our destruction.
I do believe there are exceptional parts of this country that other countries would
do well to follow. But more importantly; I think there are things we can take from other
countries culture and politics, if we just paid attention. I never understood the term God
Bless America. Why God Bless America? That seems exclusive. Ive met people from
other countries, my whole family comes from the Middle East; in fact I lived in Jordan for

a year myself. Once you learn to have respect for their culture and they have respect for
yours, you generally find that theyre not much different than yourself. And they have the
same God given right to life as you and I do. America shouldnt be an isolated country.
Although America is unique in its own ways, there are many other countries that are
more unique. Coming from a middle-eastern culture has taught me to appreciate things
that people take for granted in America, such as freedom. When I lived in the middleeast, there were very strict rules about what women could do. They had a role to be the
person that takes care of the children, cooks meals for the family, and cleans the house.
While the man has the role of being the provider for the family. This is what was
expected of everyone everyday. Women could not drive, they could barely leave there
house, and had to dress in a very appropriate manner wherever they appear. Also the
country was led by a King. This means that whatever the king says is what is to be
done. People did not disobey the king under any circumstance, because if they did he
has the power to kill them. In America women have almost all of the same freedoms that
men have. There are no kings to rule over you, and there is no law or rule preventing
any person from expressing their true selves. I'm glad that I live in America, because it
has brought the true meaning of freedom to my family and I. I do believe in American
exceptionalism, because America is a very unique country that provides freedom unlike
any of its other counterparts. I think that since America is so very unique it should be
able to help other countries in need of support. But if helping the other country exposes
America to any type of danger or attack, then America should have the right to deny the
country help. Americans may sympathize with other nations that desire to establish
liberal and representative government, and its conceivable that our government could

occasionally assist them when there is good reason to believe that our assistance is
welcomed and constructive... (Larison 2013)