Monday, October 22, 2012

A Sewer On a Hill

Today is Monday, 22 October 2012.

On this date in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, in a televised live address, revealed the presence of Soviet ICBMs in Cuba, announced quarantine of that island, and drove the world to the brink of nuclear war.

American exceptionalism.  A concept beloved of Republican Presidential candidates, and others of wayward judgement.

The fantasy that there is a certain divine something about the United States Empire (USE) that sets it apart and superior to every other tribe, nation, or
empire in history.

If one could speak to generations of enslaved USE Blacks, one doubts that they would have discern anything exceptional regarding the mass theft, mass rape, mass pedophilia, and mass murder they experienced, compared to any other empire.  Same for women.  Same for Native Americans.  And so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

American exceptionalism is nothing more than, in the delightful British phrase, willie-waving: "We're number One!"

Compare an early example, "a city set on a hill", from the Sermon on the Mount, and recycled in a 1630 sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity", penned by the English Puritan John Winthrop, and repeated by him to the colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ("Pilgrims") as their ship sailed to the "New World.

The Pilgrims were a Puritan faction that fancied that they alone were God's Elect, divinely charged with sole responsibility to rule the planet.  The British laughed them out of town, as did the Dutch in turn.  The Pilgrims then determined to become colonists, exterminate those Native Americans who refused to submit, and establish their theocratic kingdom.  After nearly perishing in their early days, and being rescued by their "inferiors", they triumphed and then, in predictable fashion, unleashed their destructive appetite and energies on one another in the Salem Witch Trials.

More David Koresh than Jesus Christ.

What the Pilgrims wrought was not a city upon a hill, a shining example, but a sewer.  Followed by the attempted Hitler-style genocide of Native Americans, the attempt to keep women reduced to crotches, slavery, homophobia, etc.

Certainly, a measure of good did issue from the USE, but in spite of its ideology, not because of it.  And the price paid for it was usually in the coin of the sufferings of others.

Putting paid to the wicked myth of "American exceptionalism".  Romney-Ryan, please take note.


Anonymous A Reader said...

HH said - "American exceptionalism. A concept beloved of Republican Presidential candidates, and others of wayward judgement."

Are you saying that Democrats are not beloved of this concept?

From your little trek through history in today's column, it sounds as if the forefathers of what was to become the United States of America were the root of what is now the Republican stem. So, tell us, when did Democrats spring from the earth to save us from Replublican canibalism and all the other attrocities you list? Seems like everyone living in the United States would have to answer for the sins of the fathers and not just Republicans.

You take great leaps in your descriptions to declare Republicans are the children of Lucifer. A little less of that might get people to read your column and then take the time to actually respond to you. People generally tend to avoid the guy screaming on the corner.

2:23 PM  

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