Exceptional in Negative Ways? - The Missourian: Opinion

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Exceptional in Negative Ways?

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Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 5:00 pm

To The Editor:

I read with interest your recent (Oct. 27-28’s weekend edition) editorial, “We Are Exceptional!” And although I thought you were a little bit rough on President Obama — after all, his being born in Hawaii and attending an idiot’s church hardly merits claiming “he comes from another culture” — I sure have to agree that “America is an exceptional nation with exceptional people.”

For instance, as a people we sure are exceptionally fat. According to various objective and reputable indices, we are literally the most obese nation in the world. Which world is, I’m sure, totally inspired at the sight of American lard butts waddling around whining about (skinny) illegal immigrants, and higher taxes and gay marriage and ...

Meanwhile, of course, there’s our exceptional educational system, which is managing to produce exceptionally bad results (at least compared to a lot of those “other countries”) for an exceptional amount of money spent per student — first in the whole wide world there. Oh, and let’s not forget our really exceptional health care system, first in the world again in money spent per patient ... But obviously exceptionally mediocre in getting results, since we rank well down the list in every measure of medical efficiency from infant mortality to average life span ...

And finally, speaking of fat, how about exceptionally fat-headed? And what else can you call it when we spend thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions on wars in countries most of us can’t even find on the map? What else can you call it when we worry about other people’s business, while so much of our own goes neglected? When we play the world’s policeman toward nations like Iran and North Korea, while their next-door neighbors sit on their hands?

Of course, as Obama quite rationally pointed out, “Other countries think they’re exceptional.” But why shouldn’t they? After all, they’re playing us for exceptional suckers. In fact, I can just see those average, unexceptional, say, Frenchmen, sitting around toasting us with their exceptional wine for first freeing their country in World War II — and then fighting a half dozen or so more wars, police actions, etc. over the next half century while they ... Well, while they made exceptional wines.

If America really wants to retain that “exceptionalism” that has indeed marked “its past achievements,” it needs to devote its present efforts to being that “shining city on a hill.” We need to lead by example, not brag and bullets.

/opinion