March 16, 2017
American exceptionalism is an example of the hegemonic stability theory: “it is important that there should be an exceptional power in the world that would make sure that some very basic rules of the games in the international community are observed” (Koshkin par. 10). The United States is seen as an exceptional leader in regards to protecting human rights and they have demonstrated their leadership in the Second World War when the League of Nations was founded as a predecessor to the United Nations (Koshhkin par. 8). The exceptional opportunities in America are the reason why so many people are attracted to the United States (Koshkin par. 13) In America, everyone is considered equal despite their sex, race, or religion. As Calvin Coolidge once said, “To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Whether there is merit to the claim that America is an exceptional country, the direction that American exceptionalism has taken is harmful. American exceptionalism promotes a sense of superiority that is harmful to its citizens. Due to this, Many Americans have developed the muddle through mentality- a mentality that chooses to ignore prominent issues. For example, a poll taken by the Pew Research showed a majority of the U.S population believes global warming is a real problem, but yet 21% believe that America should not take action until it is an absolutely proven problem, and 42% low-cost steps should be taken (Kohut par. 34). In addition, Americans blame the loss of U.S. jobs because of imports. But in recent years they happily purchased record amounts of imported goods, citing their high quality and relatively low prices (Kohut par. 36). In addition, the American exceptionalism blinds people to the true facts about their own society. Many believe the United States behaves better than others, when in fact, we start several wars of our own, in-slave humans, torture foreigners, and kill innocents (Walt par. 9-12).
Kohut, Andrew, and Bruce Stokes. “The Problem of American Exceptionalism.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 09 May 2006. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
Koshkin, Pavel, and Yuri Barmin. “American Exceptionalism: Curse or Boon?” Russia Direct. Russia Direct, 04 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
Walt, Stephen M. “The Myth of American Exceptionalism.” Foreign Policy. Word Press, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.