sunset in Green Hills, Nashville, on Dec 29, 2011 - Stephen Frasier PhotographyI happened to catch the last third or so of Bill Moyers’ fantastic, in-depth PBS news commentary program, Moyers & Company, which today featured author Colonel Andrew Basevich as an intelligent, intriguing, level-headed guest.

While the ideas and views of Col. Basevich were encouraging and positive, the gist of the portion of the show I saw was a reaction to a brand of American exceptionalism with support on the far right. Although I would like to make and take the time to describe these views in detail, today I cannot; however, there are plenty of resources one can quickly locate and review in order to get a sense of the America-must-perpetually-rule-the-world-at-any-cost mentality to which I’m referring.

There is something very wrong with the far-right brand of American exceptionalism. It’s a type of bastardized nationalism — patriotism in overdrive. The Hard Right dream to indefinitely prolong the "American Century" is a doomed, sovereign self centeredness: high-handed, geocentric, state fundamentalism that demands a world in subservience to the U.S.

Any short-sighted view assuming the United States will never need help from other countries is lamentable and beyond ridiculous.

Questions for reflection & contemplation

political debate: cartoon, colorWhat is it with the Hard Right? Why does the Hard Right consistently adopt such decidedly non-spiritual, self-centered views?

Far more importantly, what are some of the relatively thoughtful, gentle, firm, respectful ways one might discourage these kinds of ill-omened, ultimately hopeless worldviews?

How can we promote, encourage, or induce level-headed discernment and forward-thinking critical thought on such views as this voodooed version of American exceptionalism?

cumulonimbus clouds with Photomatix effects: Nashville, Mar 14, 2012, Frasier Photography 2012A bigoted, everyone-else-is-inferior viewpoint does not mesh with admirable, respectable global citizenship. Such a big-headed attitude seems to portend doom for that time when American supremacy ultimately and inevitably comes to a close. The very idea that the United States — or any country, for that matter — could ever perpetually maintain absolute global supremacy is a foolish pipe dream. It won’t happen.

Look, I really do understand that the objectives and requirements of being a powerful modern country are not always going to mesh with basic, universal spiritual principles. Even so, I do not believe the United States has to venture all the way to spirituality’s opposite side to succeed as a nation.

Let us hope, pray, and vote for the level-headed, globally conscious, reasonably centrist, and wise governing of the United States in the coming decades.

To address in the coming days, weeks:

  • American century
  • American exceptionalism

Resources: Moyers & Co.: "Moving Beyond War", Col. Andrew Basevich

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…it’s yet another unfortunate example of divisive fundamentalism.

This post was started on Sunday, March 25, 2012