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Two Distinctly Different Interpretations Of Exceptionalism

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*In the building of a world empire of military bases? Yes, we have over 1,000.

*In the sale of military weaponry to the rest of the world? Yes, we lead the world.

*In the largest amount of national debt and borrowing? By far.  

*In the largest total and per capita prison population? Yes, again the world leader, far more than even China, Russia, Cuba and North Korea.

*In per capita murders among the developed nations of the world? Yes, no one is even close.

*In gun ownership? Yes, by a long shot.

*In poverty of its people and the number of food stamp recipients? Yes. Among the developed nations of the world no other country has such serious societal problems.

There is one category in which America is the undisputed leader in the world. It's to be found in a hypocrisy of the highest degree; one that is unmatched because of it's doctrine of: if America does it, then it's just fine and must not be challenged, but if any other nation does it, it's a "moral obscenity" and must be condemned.

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Most Americans are finally waking up to the fact that this country is now in a highly regressive state and rapidly proceeding in a direction that is almost exactly the reverse of the one that it should be taking. This government's policies and actions fit the definition of insanity; that is, doing the same things that don't work over and over and, somehow, thinking that the result will be different.

America could be on the road to becoming exceptional by remaking itself into a nation that rejects the doctrine of military force and finds way to leave in relative peace with the other nations of the world. We have seen signs that this can actually happen when the people strongly rejected President Obama's call for a missile strike on Syria. That's a good, solid beginning and we need to keep up this kind of pressure on this government and this president.

But the people also need to do a lot more and continue to strongly oppose government policies and actions that are highly detrimental to this nation. We need to free our minds of the intense pressure that the government and its media lapdogs use to keep us in a passive state. H ere are some initiatives that we can take to make this happen:

We need to stop watching the corporate-controlled media and listening to biased political commercials. We need to make up our minds that we will never allow anyone to control our thoughts. Don't read the editorial sections of newspapers that involve politics because they almost never involve objective discussions. Use the internet instead to find the most expert, factual, and objective forms of journalism. Here are several excellent websites involving this kind of journalism;,,,, and

We Americans must get out of the deep hole we have dug for ourselves and then use it as a grave to bury those conditions that are the root cause of this nation's myriad of problems; the corruption of Congress, the power and influence of those who operate the machinery of war and empire, the iron grip that Corporate America has on this government and nation.

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Once we get the majority of Americans thinking in these directions the opportunity to turn America in a new direction will be there. Cleansing our minds of these negative influences that have dominated this nation for far too long will have the effect of opening the door to new thinking, creativity and innovative ideas. You've heard the sayings, "Anything is possible if you put your mind to it." If we think that we can't make it happen, then it won't; make up your mind that you will make it happen and it will.

We need to restore this nation's integrity and reputation, change it from the world's most feared nation to one that, once gain, takes its place as a respected leader of the world; not in name only but in words, deeds and actions that benefit this country and the world. And, if we ever get to that point, then we can all say that America is truly an exceptional nation, like no other on this planet.

Michael Payne

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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