LTE on American Exceptionalism

Below is a letter to the editor that I sent to our local paper.  The paper has not published the letter, so I thought I would put it up here.  The letter was written shortly after the Republican convention.

I am quite concerned about the new Republican buzzword, “American Exceptionalism”.  I have what is considered a serious mental illness and have been greatly helped by practicing the method of Recovery International.  One of the insights of Dr. Low, the creator of the method, is that just about all of us are in the average spectrum of humans, but we all believe we are the smartest, most sensitive person out there.  Much of human conflict can be ascribed to one person’s sense of self-importance bumping up against another person’s sense of self-importance.

I think that the insight applies to countries as well.  Many of the citizens of every country feel like their country is the best country out there, that their lifestyle is the best.  I suspect that much conflict occurs because one country’s sense of self-importance bumps against another country’s sense of self-importance.  Granted, wars over resources occur also.

I see the Republicans trying to push the buzzword of the second half of the 20th century, anti-communism, communism being the far end of leftism.  The 20th century showed us what happens when a country goes too far to the left (3  million dead in Russia, killed by Stalin’s communist government) or too far to the right (over 6 million killed by Hitler’s German fascist government). Our country needs both the left and the right for balance.   

“American Exceptionalism” is on the fascist side of the spectrum from left to right. Hitler came to power in Germany telling the German people he would restore Germany to Germany’s rightful, superior, place.  Other tactics of the Republicans this election hark back to the rise of fascism.  The Republicans’ willingness to put outright lies and distortions at the center of their political advertising indicates to me that the Republican’s are following one of the techniques of Nazi Germany – tell a lie big enough and often enough and people will believe the lie.

We are not in the desperate state that Germany was in after World War I, but I am disturbed by the message of the Republicans.  The Republicans are not politically naive, I suspect they are deliberately, consciously following fascist techniques. Personally, I see us as a good average country in the community of countries, with a special talent for leadership. 


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