American Exceptionalism – and the non-recognition of Evil?

David Gregory of the Sunday morning talking head show, Meet The Press, over the most important question concerning our Republic (yes, a Republic – not a democracy):

What is the Proper Role of Government?

and he turned to Leftist Tavis Smiley for his take on it:


There is a big argument over government too, here Tavis. You were concerned, as were others, about the vote on food stamps this week.  This is about the size, scope, the direction of government.  In the Republican Party, this is going to become a big campaign issue.  It’s going to be in 2014 but it also for those who want to run for President in 2016.  The question will be “where were you on Obamacare”?


“I think, not just for Republicans, I think that this country is facing a similar moment that we make a decision about what kind of nation, what kind of people we are going to be.  the President recently, much to my chagrin, spoke of, advanced once again, this notion of “American Exceptionalism”.  He clearly is not the only person in this town who likes to push that notion that we as Americans are exceptional.” 

The reality is that this week alone is all the evidence that we need to push back to question that particular claim.  When the Republicans want to shut down the government over political posturing , when you can kill innocent children in Sandy Hook and there’s no real gun control debate , those that we are supposed to protect, our babies, now you can fire indiscriminately on those that protect us and nobody at this table believes that a real gun control debate going to come out because all this stuff is going to push to the side and it’s not just mental illness – that’s a real issue.  But in NC, you’ve got this “brother” Jonathan Farrell, this black guy, whose running towards the police, asking for help, and they shoot and they kill him.  Congress has a 6% approval rating and the answer is to shut it down?

What kind of nation are we going to be? what kind of people do we want to be.  Very quickly – if we don’t course correct soon, we are going to lose our democracy, it is that serious.

Really, Tavis, is it GOVERNMENT or style of Government that makes us exceptional?  Or that when the opposition to you Progressives decide to use lawful means to stop an action they feel weakens our Republic (allowing greedy Politicians to spend other peoples’ money, future citizens’ money, and spend us into oblivion), that obviates your sense of “exceptionalism”?  On gun control – we HAVE had that debate – and in a Free country, in a constitutional representative Republic, the citizens told their representatives that they did NOT want the kind of gun control that you, Tavis, want.  That loss means that this country is not exceptional, Tavis?

Seems like the word “debate”, for Progressives, is not just having the argument but also winning that argument at the same time.  Losing that debate, for Progressives, means we’ve had no debate?  Really?

I was going to write up my take on American Exceptionalism, that this is the ONLY country that has been created that put the power, not in Government, but in its people (even if we have seen opposite seemingly taking place).  It doesn’t mean that we are a perfect country, just one built not on a geography or a religion or an existing ruling class, but on the ideas of individual sovereignty, that government was instituted not to rule but to protect those liberties and Rights that naturally accrue to people simply for being human.  However, this from Big Government says most of it:

But none of this had anything to do with what Alexis de Tocqueville saw as American exceptionalism. He saw America as exceptional for its devotion to the practical, rather than to the arts. He saw it in the form of government the Founders had created and in the industriousness of the people. He saw it in their egalitarianism, religiosity, and their dependency on the community

Sidenote: actual community, friends & family, and voluntary relationships that met individual needs.  Community was never meant to be a faux sense of “Govt as community”

Keep in mind, at the time, class systems dominated Europe, royal families generally reigned supreme, and where a republic had been tried – France – it had proven a disaster.

Most importantly, we are (or were?) exceptional because of the nature of our founding and the institutions of government that were then created and which remain today. What those men did was without precedent. Between 1776 and 1789, the founders peacefully forged a law-centric republic, predicated on the separation of powers, using principles of checks and balances, all based on representative government. They created a nation that promoted democratic ideals and personal liberty, with elected leaders who were accountable to the people. And they did this while fighting a bloody revolution. In the annals of man, it was truly unique – “The greatest single effort of national deliberations that the world has ever seen,” as John Adams once wrote about the process of creating the Constitution.

We have had that debate about what kind of nation and people we should be, Tavis, with those elements above defining us.  A perfect implementation?  No, reality intrudes – and Evil intrudes as well.  People are human and with human nature to wish to acquire power with which to dominate others – and as we have seen, even our government strictures have failed to keep those people, those Parties, within those bounds.  Yet greater, it has been the apostasy from that principled approach to Individudals, Society, and Government, called Progressivism, that has been the major enemy of American Exceptionalism, undermining those institutions that promoted it and even (as we see in his words) the complete denial of it.

The Freedom to succeed and the Freedom to fail.  The Freedom to be good and the Freedom to be bad.  Progressives like Smiley wish to erase the last clause in each of those sentences – their idea of Utopia means that only good, only THEIR notion of good, can exist.

The problem in attempting to do so is that they then create, in their dystopic notion that only good can and should exist, is that Freedom will be erased as well.  It has to be – because to rule out the negative must necessarily create a police state in which there is no Freedom of thought or action that is otherwise permitted.  Is this the kind of nation we want, Tavis, that we must, by your definition, be a nation controlled?

And yet, with all of the laws laid down since human history began, has any one of them actually succeeded in outlawing evil?  You may tighter control the folks that simply want to live their lives – but are you willing to ratchet down and ratchet down, and then ratchet more so as to eliminate Evil altogether?

You’re a smart dude, Tavis – what does that make us as a people?  Really – still a free people?

I think not.

Updated – video from The Corner: