Saturday, July 9, 2011

Exceptional Arrogance

Promoting his new beverage in Joplin, Missouri, on Independence Day, Rush Limbaugh remarked:
This country has produced opportunity and prosperity unlike the world has ever seen before. . . . The history of the world is oppression, tyranny, dungeons – not here. We are an exception to the way human beings have always lived on this planet. This is a nation blessed by God.

What bothers me about Limbaugh's "Exceptionalism" is that it goes beyond patriotism and into the realm of mindless nationalism and superstition. Patriotism is valuing what is good and best about your country, not ignoring or denying that it has acted unjustly or promoted inequality. Limbaugh points out that this country has produced "opportunity and prosperity" but we are currently suffering through a crisis that originated on Wall Street, and may see another shock wave if the Tea Party Politicians continue playing Kamikaze with the debt.

There's also a cruelty to such exceptionalism. The people in Joplin are the best of America, while the victims in New Orleans who don't resemble Limbaugh and most of his listeners are portrayed as "whining" or worse by Limbaugh and his fans on his show and website.

Limbaugh also mocked the Japanese refugees following this year's quake and tsunami. Why? The Japanese are guilty of recycling and creating the Prius:Such callousness and disregard for the suffering of people who don't fit the stereotype of a full-blooded American blessed by God is simply ugly and a betrayal of the values of what we are supposed to be celebrating.

No comments: