America the Great: Don't be Ashamed of American Exceptionalism

Jenny Erikson
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Photo by Kristen Bons
President Obama delivered the commencement speech last Saturday at the US Military Academy at West Point, attempting to fill the new graduates with hopey-changey optimism by alluding to a new world order.

I'm sure that most of those military types were scratching their heads.

It's hard to get into West Point. You have to really, really want to go there, you have to be super-strong and whip smart, and above all, you have to love America and promise to defend it to the death. It's not exactly a place for pansies, as well suited as a pansy might be elsewhere. Say in a pink tank top on her couch with her laptop clacking out a post on American exceptionalism for The Stir.

Yeah, you heard me. I'm a pansy. At least when stacked against a West Point graduate. But I do love America, and I will fight to the hard drive death for it. 

President Obama told the crowd at West Point that "stronger international standards and institutions" could lead toward the resolution of challenges such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, and economic decline.

"Our adversaries would like to see America sap its strength by overextending our power," Obama said. "So we have to shape an international order that can meet the challenges of our generation." 

I for one am curious as to how Greece is going to help shape an international order that will help California with its pension problem. In case you hadn't heard, Greece is bankrupt. California is not far behind on Financial Meltdown Pkwy.

In other America-isn't-really-that-great-news, Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently visited the White House to chum around with President Obama. Our south-of-the-border neighbor wasted no time in letting us greedy American racists know that we'll be even more greedy and racist if we try to actually enforce our laws and close the border. President Obama agreed with him. 

Let's take a step back here, shall we? Why are we down-playing America's exceptionalism? America is fantastic and awesome and not without its flaws, but it's certainly better than anything else out there.

America is not a monster. It is a powerhouse filled with generous and caring citizens. Even in the midst of a recession, Americans gave more to the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti than any other country.

We've been the land of opportunity for centuries; the place where people came and still come to make their dreams a reality. Through the freedom to improve our own lives, we've become the greatest nation in the history of the world. It is nothing to apologize for. And we will certainly not improve our situation by bowing and cow towing to other nations in a new international order.

I wish our President were as proud of his country as the vast majority of the men and women that he represents.

What makes you proud to be an American?

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