American Exceptionalism is being questioned but not by those you would think
American exceptionalism is often defined as “the theory that the United States is inherently different from other nations” but to some this many not make sense. Why is not that they may be questioning the truth of this statement but simply because many can’t remember what the word inherently means. Inherently is defined as “something that is built-in or a part of the makeup of a person or thing”. I believe that once we understand the word and how it fits in the above definition of the phrase, we then began to restore our pride in being an American and living in a nation truly viewed by others as exceptional. Others think that this is what makes others seek asylum or any other excuse to come here, they may believe that it is because we are called the “land of opportunity” and they are seeking just that. They may believe that it is because we are one of the richest nations in the world and one of the most powerful but the truth may surprise even those Americans who has claimed this country and occupied it much longer than we have that all we just described is not what makes America exceptional.
What makes this nation exceptional and the envy of even some Americans themselves is its people. We are a people who know that even though we may disagree vehemently and passionately with each other, we can live together in peace. That violence need not spread from city to city, town to town each and every time 2 or more people disagree with each other. A majority that actually welcomes others who are different so that we may learn what makes them different and what makes them tick. We do this all the time when we mix our races of people as well as tinker with the mixing of animals and plants, chemicals and detergents not out of boredom but out of curiosity of how much more inclusive and better we can build a nation and all of its inhabitants. We are a people who believe in evolution but can’t quite keep from nudging it along by sometimes playing God to our determent. Contrary to what some believe we are and always will be a seeker of knowledge, experimentation and exploration. In common language, America’s people is just plain nosy. This is truly what separates us from many other nations and because the majority dives into this with unquenchable fervor, many others residing in other nations see all types of opportunities to join and discover as well.
Now this is being questioned and American exceptionalism is being put to the test but not by those who dwell in other countries or those who has only been here for such a short time. It is being questioned by those who claim to love this country better than everyone else. It is being questioned by those who claim that they are prepared to lay down their lives to protect our way of life, ignoring that the main supporting value of this nation is the acceptance of anything new so that we can learn more about it. It is being questioned right now with the Syrian refugees and it is happening also with this immigration debate. At what point did this country ever turn its back on anyone desiring or needing help for the simple reason of them being different?
While those who oppose keeping true to that primary instinct and that main supporting value, we must also remember that this nation was built on the backs of those who immigrated here long ago and it will only move forward with those who bring new and fresh ideas, drives and determination to our shores today. We must remember that long ago, there was a need for the Statue of Liberty and with that concept came the linchpin that says come on in everyone is welcomed. We must remember that we have proven to the world that whites can live with blacks, so-called patriots can live with non-patriots, haters can live with lovers, friends can live with enemies, and the rich can live with the poor. We have proven that America is exceptional not because of what it offers but because of what kind of person you can become. You may arrive, fixed in your mind what type of person that you are but the longer you live here, many will change or modify that fixation because being in America you find that what you thought you were getting has turned out to be so much more. American exceptionalism may be defined as a theory but to an American it is far more than that. It is an over-whelming urge to do better, treat others better, and be better than you ever thought possible. We do this by allowing those who wish to better themselves, their surroundings, their towns and their cities the opportunity to do just that while forcefully dealing with those who are more content to bring down this nation. We do this by saying welcome, come on in, play by the rules and keep your place in line because if you fail any of these, you will not only have to deal with those who may opposed you coming here in the first place but you will also have to deal with those who supported bringing you here.
You see the true test of American exceptionalism, that real fabric that is woven throughout this nation is that we who dwell here may disagree with each other, fight amongst ourselves but like any family will never ever tolerate a stranger who causes harm to any member, proving once again that the people of this nation is often times more united than we may appear divided.