Get Over Yourself, America

America, did you know there are other countries in the Americas—yes other countries in addition to the United States of America. Hold onto your socks, cheerleader types. The Americas includes North America and South America according to those maps that hung in 1950s elementary schools. And if you really want to get irritated, notice that North America not only includes Canada ("Well, that's okay because they speak English". Psst, they speak French too--holy merde!). But Mexico too ("No!!! Why they don't even speak English!")
Among the world's countries America is truly an immature, young country. Rather like many an adolescent, Americans are full of piss and vinegar—which the world calls our weapons of mass destruction. America spends so much on the military, that the American military spending is higher than adding up the next 17 highest countries.
America is so very sure of itself that we have a word for our self-centered focus, American Exceptionalism. "Oh the cleverness of me!" as Peter Pan crowed, but at least Peter Pan was just an imaginary self-centered boy who could fly without adding to the global climate problem.
Whether injecting the Planet Earth with poisons or playing with nukes—Americans say we will do what we want. For like the teenagers Americans are, we believe we are immortal. How can the world rein in this unruly brat, ah kid?
So America boasts of our power on the world stage, while the mature Europeans lift an eyebrow knowingly in jaded amusement. America is such a child; whereas Europeans have seen it all for millennia. Unfortunately even a child can push the wrong button and end it all.

America greedily gobbles up nonrenewable resources, crashing our shared Planet Earth into possible environmental oblivion. Nevertheless Americans will be found to tackily cheer "USA, USA!" Meanwhile the grown-up countries of the world fret about the future as Mother Nature runs a low-grade temperature and lashes out with wild weather swings.

American exceptionalism is real when it comes to premature births to a recent report. America does worse than any Western European country. Worse. So while you cheer "We're NO. ONE in PREMATURE births" for a so-called First World country, consider Mississippi. No. ONE state in the 50-nifty US states, in infant mortality rates.  Worse than several African countries. How exceptional is that? Proud little Ecuador has one of the lowest rates. Better than Japan and Sweden.
So my plea—and this is an American whose earliest ancestor came here before 1700--is for America to take a Time Out. We need to sit on the Naughty Step and think about what we are doing to ourselves and our world. For at the end of the day I hate to break it to you, but we are all equal to the worms in the cemetery


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  • American Exceptionalism? More like American Egocentrism.

    Candace, you hit it out of the park.

  • With your "Dear, America, you suck" note, perhaps you'd like to move to one of those wonderful "other" Americas? We wouldn't miss you.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Publius, we know you will be leaving when Joe Walsh becomes a former representative and you will have to buy health insurance. Where are you going?

  • In reply to jack:

    Why would you "know" that? In fact, why do you think you "know" anything about me?

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    The world knows enough about you from your rants on your blog I no longer visit.

    So, tell it to your "left wing fascists."

  • Oh, this is a fine line. I agree with everything you said (lived in the UK for a time myself and being away make your want to tattoo this post in your body) but as bad as the big, dry hair dos and conservative politics are, there's nothing worse than a smug ex-pat.

  • *makes

  • This is parody, right? The sort of thing that a Stephen Colbert would do about liberals, right?

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    A) This is a weak article
    B) You sound like a freshman poli sci major at UIC
    C) Get the fuck out

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    Wouldn't it be nice if the US could live up to it's potential and ego! Reading those inclusive rants back on the original note, one wonders what right a publius and Steven feel they have to be so exclusive to openness that has made our country great? I served our country and have lived overseas, which makes me appreciate what we have and what we are, but we are not exceptional. We can still become exceptional by living up to our potential as the only superpower at the start of this millennium, showing the way to save our planet from pollution and climate change (I guess Kansas can claim to be exceptionally hot this year), reducing our nuclear force, converting our military budget to sustainable infrastructure, education and medical attention. Do we really want to go down as the generation that gave the world Facebook and a rising ocean? Let's be exceptional, let's live up to our potential!

  • In reply to garyd7:

    Clearly my POV not unique given Leonard Pitts op-ed today.

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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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