I 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
What 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?
A 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
- American exceptionalism – Wikipedia
- Moyers & Company: BillMoyers.com – Continuing his long-running conversation with the American public, Bill Moyers returned to television in January 2012 with Moyers & Company, a weekly series of smart talk and new ideas aimed at helping viewers make sense of our tumultuous times through the insight of America’s strongest thinkers. The program also features Moyers’ hallmark essays on democracy.
- Bill Moyers at BillMoyers.com
- Moyers & Company on Wikipedia
- Moyers & Company on American Public Television
…it’s yet another unfortunate example of divisive fundamentalism.
This post was started on Sunday, March 25, 2012