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home : opinions : opinions April 30, 2016

9/19/2013 11:20:00 AM
Letter: Plenty of examples of American exceptionalism


Recently Russia's leader Vladimir Putin wrote an opinion piece on American exceptionalism. Or rather that American exceptionalism does not exist other than in the minds of Americans. Well, not liberal Americans. But in 53 percent or so of the country.

Kind of a get-over-yourself-America. America is just another ho-hum country. Then he proceeded to give President Obama and the country sage advice from an old KGB agent. What to think and do to join the league of ordinary nations.

I have to admit lately the actions of our leaders in both parties are not a great example of American exceptionalism. However, America has been challenged before and no doubt we will rise to face and overcome our problems.

I was thinking what examples of American exceptionalism can I give Vladimir Putin to show why we think, and in fact, are an exceptional country.

I will start with how we conduct the transfer of power in the presidency in the United States. Every four years we either elect a new president or retain the current president for four more years. It is a peaceful transfer of power on the appointed date and time. No changing the rules or calling up the military; just a swearing-in ceremony and it is done.

Almost on the same day Vladimir was telling us to scale it back, one of our space probes was leaving the Solar System! What other country has accomplished that? Russia? No!

Speaking of space let us not forget the Hubble Telescope. Sending us wondrous images of space millions of light years away.

Let's take a count of the countries with functioning spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Well, um, Just America again with two.

The moon. Has any Cosmonauts planted the Russian flag in lunar soil? And then gotten back in their spacecraft and came back to earth? No!

Last but not least, WWI and WWII, without America the world would be goose stepping and speaking German.

I could go on and on but I think I have made my point. We may be in a bit of a holding pattern but soon we will come charging back. We prove it everyday with every man and woman who gets up, goes to work, and lives the American dream. Have you noticed Russia has no problem with immigration legal or illegal?

Charles Atwell


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Article comment by: @ Cody Flowers

That is a good point. Let's all pray extremists on both sides in this great country don't tip the balance toward Afghanistan's.

@ America is indeed…
I hear they're crying for people willing to work even 5 hours a day in Mogadishu. That would give you loads of time to correct your statistics.

Like education, for instance. Of the world's developed countries, the United States (and I believe Canada and Australia) is the only one that doesn't weed out "slow learners" at an early age, fast track the best and the brightest, and severely restrict post-secondary educational opportunities to those favored few. This emphasis on "equality of opportunity" lowers overall ratings, as we can see by comparing MVP's 2012 and 2013 scores right here in Cottonwood. So which do you want? A country in which even people born into utter poverty can rise to their "personal best"? Or a country that scores higher than Germany in international comparisons?

Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Article comment by: America is indeed an exception Country

The good ole USA is a very exceptional country. Land of the free, home of the brave. Then why is it the USA has the highest percentage of the population locked up in jails and prison? And the USA has another example of distinction. The good ole USA has the highest child abuse death rate than any other country. The USA also ranks very dismal in education when compared to other countries. And just to let you know, the USA has an infant mortality rate that is 4 times higher than the lowest country.

Every man and woman who gets up lives the American dream? Yep, they sure do. They work 40 plus hrs a week each, and still don't have access to healthcare. Their American dream is the nightmare that they or one of their children get a life threatening disease or injury, and they will die from not being able to afford treatment.

The American Dream is turning into the American Nightmare.

Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Article comment by: Cody Flowers

Im sure people running the marathon in Boston thought that too, how about in a shopping mall in kenya. What about the soldiers going through reverse srp at Fort Hood? How about the British Soldier who got his head chopped off recently in broad daylight? The list goes on, those are just the successful ones. Considering im in Afghanistan, I am 10 times more likely to be killed by a terrorist than cop. I guess Putin's point is valid, ordinary americans want to monday morning quarterback, till its on their doorstep, then beg someone else to help them.

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013
Article comment by: Carefull PF

Vlad might hear you and take you up on the invitation.

Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013
Article comment by: @ Gaia

The paranoid nature of the cowering and terrorized republicant base was no more evident than before the 2004 election when, speaking with a good friend about the election, he informed that he was voting for Bush.

I asked, 'Why?"

His response: "Because Bush will keep us safe from a terrorist attack."

(He must have been asleep on 9/11).

When I asked him to clarify where he thought Bush could deter another attack, he verified that he was fearful of a terror attack in Cottonwood.

You know, Cottonwood, Arizona, the Number 1 target for all radicalized Muslims.


Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

Cody pull your brainwashed head out of the sand . . .

You are eight times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist. ~ National Safety Council

Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Article comment by: Cody Flowers

Ya know, reading this and the comments, i love how people tend to forget that we have an entire generation who have stood up to terrorism. I get that people are tired of all the political posturing from our govt. but I think to most americans today when you say terrorism they think of it as the invisible boogie man in the closet, instead of being an absolute ever present threat. Its easy to blame the govt. dems or repubs for everything that happens, but come to the front lines, see what it is we are actually standing up to, thats all over the world, then continue to think our last exceptional generation was the WWII generation. Learn the horrifying truths of the world we live in, and give thanks you live in one of the most beautiful sections of a beautiful free country, where suddenly the problems everyone thinks are such a big deal and "unexceptional" will seem minuscule. Just my opinion.

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

You tell'em, Mr. F. And like England, France, Spain, and Belgium, too.

Imperial power is a drug to which we, the American people, have allowed our government to become addicted.

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

gophobia?The rich get richer that's the formula.

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Hog wash.All communist countries are 95% poor,told what to do everyday or suffer the consequences.Whens the last time you lived
in a communist country?
If you haven't been there and witnessed the
horror of daily life you'll never get it.
I have and Freedom is foreign to them.
Don't fall for their BS.
We have done many things that are terrible but
nothing like the communists.Putin is KGB and
always will be.Get off the tourist trail and try to
visit the communists off the beaten path.You
never will as it's not allowed.Why?
Take some toilet paper with you if you get that
fantastic chance.You may even get a glimps of
the ritual of deficating on the shore and watching the tide flush it away three times a day.It's a sight to see.

The smells are very heart warming as you yearn to be free again in the USA.
Vietnam was my intro to the communist love fest.Oh to watch a toilet flush again.
Take Mr Atwells article and multiply it times 100 and your standing in Russia.(only nobody
there can state it) Why

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ Mr. Atwell

I think you misunderstand Vladdy.

All Mr. Putin means when he says that the US is not 'exceptional' is that now that America wages unprovoked war, imprisons people without due process, or, for that matter, without filing charges, approves and participates in torture, spys on friend and foe alike, invades citizen's and non-citizen's privacy, incarcerates more people than any country in the world and allows and fosters an cultural environment that makes mass-murder a seasonal occurrence, like Spring or Halloween--all Putin means, is, that we are similar to Russia. Or, Colombia, or, Uganda.

And, a few other countries.

Not 'exceptional' at all.

Now, if we truly followed the old outdated and abandoned American ideals we all get teary-eyed about when we wave the flag on the 4th, he'd be wrong.

Once you leave the protective bubble of the American shores, you will find that much of the World isn't all that impressed with America, anymore.

We confuse people from other countries wanting to gain our standard of living with people admiring us and wanting to be just like us.

Sir, trust me, they don't.

And, Chuck, you arrogant person you, this is not the result of 'liberal' or 'conservative."

This is our fault.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Some great Americans were once Russian.

Why did they leave Russia and immigrate to America? Evidently, some exceptional Russians believed that freedom to speak, to own property and to take advantage of free markets would help them achieve their potential.

The irony here of course, is that Vladimir sees himself as exceptional. Vladimir, take your own advice.

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Well said, other than the crack about the 53%. Are you inferring the 43% of the Romneyite Corporatacracy vultures are somehow more patriotic because they were able to destroy the American economy with their criminal activities? Really? The GOP is even more corrupt than the morally bankrupt Democrats.

The Republicans can't even hide their disdain for anyone not rich and white. That, by definition, pretty much makes them psychopaths. Then again some psychopaths are exceptional, eh?

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