Is our country truly “exceptional”? How best to determine if this is a fact? Let’s examine our nation’s moral priorities. We all know what living a “moral” life should look like for individuals — most religions promote the golden rule and advice similar to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Looking after children and the most vulnerable are high on many lists. However, we are weak creatures and much of the time regard such advice as suggestions to ignore. Most of us choose Number One.
On a national scale this individualistic behavior has never looked good. For example, from the birth of our country, we violated our treaties and massacred the natives so we could steal their land; most of our founding fathers owned slaves; “all men are created equal” meant white male landowners. Slavery, of course, meant families torn apart, worked to death, and women and girls often enduring lifetimes of rape.
But this is 2022! Aren’t we better now, wiser, more compassionate? Better, maybe — no slavery or Jim Crow, but still the simmering racism. Children? Twenty million lack access to health care and 13 million live in food-insecure homes.
Think of those kids.
Are we “exceptional”? No. “Disgusting,” “shameful”? Yes.