Monday, October 19, 2009


If we don't get on the "apology tour" bandwagon, are we unAmerican? What makes America so exceptional? If history is not taught in schools, America's exceptionalism will soon be forgotten, and that's a bad thing, because our exceptionalism is real, which is why we are a target.

No one wants to topple the lower on the totem pole -- where's the fun in that? Pam Meister writes an excellent tongue-in-cheek in PajamasMedia:

Boston Globe Columnist Is Right: America Sucks
How dare we hold our heads higher than anyone else?
by Pam Meister, October 17, 2009

Writing for the Boston Globe, Neal Gabler recently stated: “The hoariest and most oft-repeated cliché in American politics may be that America is the greatest country in the world. Every politician, Democrat and Republican, seems duty bound to pander to this idea of American exceptionalism, and woe unto him who hints otherwise.”

Gabler reminds us that, far from being exceptional, America is quite mediocre, as we rank low in education (the teachers’ unions have nothing to do with it, I’m sure) and health care (we’re dying in the streets!), and are behind other nations when it comes to median income (gasp!). And when it comes to national pride, it’s okay as long as we keep things in perspective: “The point is that just about every country has a lot to be proud of, and America has no more right to assume it is the greatest nation in the world than does France, Switzerland, China, or Russia.” He’s right. How dare we hold our heads higher than anyone else?

You know, I’d better show his article to my neighbor, Marcio. See, Marcio came here from Brazil and not only went from working as a sandwich maker in a deli to owning his own painting business with his father-in-law, but is working toward citizenship. I wouldn’t want him to take the oath of citizenship without knowing what he’s getting into.

Gabler makes me wish that Paul Revere had decided to stay in bed that night instead of warning his fellow citizens that the British were coming, that Betsy Ross had told George Washington she was too busy working on a quilt to sew the first flag, and that the Minutemen had put away their dangerous muskets (you’ll put your eye out, kid!) and just stood by as the redcoats swept through Boston and Massachusetts on their way to an easy victory. Think of all the heartache that would have saved! No “Stars and Stripes Forever,” no ugly American syndrome, no McDonald’s, no Coca-Cola, no GI Joe. Slavery? That would have been the UK’s problem, not America’s.

Perhaps we could have eventually ended up as part of Canada, and then we wouldn’t have to worry about people dying in the streets for lack of health care or not having enough maple syrup for their pancakes and waffles. Inexpensive maple syrup ought to be a constitutional right, don’t you think? I’m tired of paying six to eight bucks for a measly 12 ounces. Speaking of ounces, we wouldn’t have to be embarrassed because we haven’t joined the rest of the world in using the metric system. Heck, we wouldn’t have to be embarrassed about anything because we wouldn’t be Americans; we’d be Canadians. What could be finer?

There would have been no World War I — oh wait, Canada did get involved to support Britain, so as Canadians we would have been involved too. But we wouldn’t have been involved in World War II — oops, forgot, Canadians were a part of that fracas too. Never mind. But just imagine what the world would have been like without America to put her nose in everyone else’s business. Perhaps all the Jews in Europe would have perished under Hitler. Hooray! Perhaps Japan would not be the peaceful, productive nation it is today but would be ruling the Pacific with an iron fist. Awesome! But there I go again, suggesting that America might have had some kind of hand in the outcome of World War II, meaning that America has some reason to be proud of herself. Old habits die hard. But don’t worry, I’m learning.

I was a bit puzzled when I read Gabler’s byline: “Neal Gabler is the author, most recently, of Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination.” But then I realized he probably had nothing to do with the book title or the byline; those details tend to be handled by editors. If he could have, Gabler probably would have named the book Walt Disney: The Raping of American Indian Native American Resources or Walt Disney: A Creepy Talking Mouse Dumbs Down International Culture. Book titles aside, he probably also suggested the following for his byline: “Neal Gabler is currently packing his bags to move to the island paradise of Cuba.”

That’s another plus! Poor Cuba wouldn’t have to endure American sanctions, which would allow communism on that island to reach its true potential. You do know, of course, that if it weren’t for American economic sanctions, Cuba would be one of the grandest and richest nations in the world. And poor Elián Gonzales wouldn’t have had to be traumatized by the Clinton administration’s decision to rip him from his relatives’ home in Miami and send him back to Cuba because his mother probably wouldn’t have tried to come here in the first place. Why would she? We’re no better than anyone else.

Gabler also says, “There is something bizarre about a country whose leaders have to constantly toady to their constituents and in which any criticism is tantamount to a lack of patriotism, but that describes America today. Every politician feels compelled to ape Jimmy Carter’s old words to the point where our alleged greatness has also become our national mantra.”

Fortunately we no longer have to worry about this terrible, embarrassing “we’re number one!” syndrome. Barack Obama is in the White House and instead of toadying to his constituents, he’s toadying to the UN, Russia, Iran, North Korea, the Olympic Committee, and anyone else who will accept his generous serving of humble pie. That bow to the king of Saudi Arabia was something, wasn’t it? While voters in Europe are beginning to reject liberalism and once again look to conservatism (well, conservative for Europe), Obama is herding America toward the left side of the aisle, toward the socialism that Europeans are discovering — after many decades — doesn’t work as well as they thought it did. Obama wants to strip us of all nuclear weapons because if we don’t have any, no one else will find it necessary to have any because, as we all know, America is the cause of international grief. If we pose no threat, all will be well in the rest of the world and sparkly unicorns and sweet gumdrops will be the order of the day. And he wants to put government at the center of our lives because nameless, faceless bureaucrats know better how I should live my life than I do.

So, Mr. Gabler, thank you for reminding me that America is not all that. The “nation without humility” that is “spoiling for calamity” is in for a huge dose of humility with Barack Obama at the helm. We should all be eternally grateful.

Oh, here’s my new byline: “Pam Meister agrees that being an American means she’s no better than anyone else — in fact, she’s probably worse.”

Pam Meister is the editor for Family Security Matters and a contributor to Big Hollywood. Her work can also be seen at American Thinker. The views expressed here are her own.