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So much of my life was spent believing in a kind of American exceptionalism. An earned kind, where America’s fundamental nature was so different and new that it amounted to social innovation akin to the steam engine, and therefore, was exceptional.
But the more I learn from experience and disparate sources, the more I realize America is just another country, as petty and infantile as any in history with only a small margin of difference in which to play.
We are worse than some nations, better than others, as a whole, or on an issue by issue basis. But the behaviors school children typically would dismiss as things only other countries would do, like torture, hydraulic despotism, murder, rewriting history, etc, are well within the scope of action for our country.
And that’s not even touching on the mythology and lies about our founding. Or the causes of our various wars, or our behavior during them.
As time goes by I feel less like an American, and more oddly enough, like a Kentuckian.