Americans are Exceptional… Except When They Aren’t.
I had occasion to see the New Zealand All Blacks wafflestomp the USA eagles a couple of weekends ago. Now, before those of you who are less exceptional than the rest of us get your panties in a twist, the All Blacks are named for their uniforms, not their race. They are the number one rugby team in the world, and not by a little bit. The best way to describe their dominance of this sport is to compare them to the original Dream Team of Basketball. No, not Shaq et. al., but Bird, Johnson, Stockton, Malone, Pippen and the rest. They put the hurt to everyone that came along. In fact, I’m not even sure why the coaches were along, except to enjoy the trip. That’s how good New Zealand is compared to the rest of the world.
The USA Eagles, a semi pro national rugby team, played New Zealand at Soldier Field, to a sold out crowd. Sold out. Let that sink in for a minute. 62,000 people bought very expensive tickets to see the USA get the thrashing of a lifetime. Where I was sitting, about half of the people around me had no idea what rugby was, or what the rules were. But they showed up, with Eagles clothing on. Some were even in Philadelphia Eagles regalia. Some were painted red, white, and blue, and others waved US flags. Those of us that knew something about rugby knew it was special, a once in a lifetime event to see the All Blacks play. The others just knew it was something cool the Americans were doing.
After the game, after a drubbing of 74-6, you could still here the chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” Later, I was talking to a Kiwi. For those a little less exceptional, a Kiwi is what you call a New Zealander, not the fruit. Anyway, as I talked to this individual, he was floored that the US supporters would still be cheering at the end of the match, especially as badly as we were mauled. He couldn’t understand how we could hold our heads high after that embarrassment.
“Americans are exceptional,” I explained. “We know this isn’t our sport. We know we’re bad. We also know, should we choose to, we can become the best in the world.”
“That is a rather, um, narcissistic view, don’t you think?” my new friend responded with just a slightly raised eyebrow.
“No. We are exceptional.”
“How is that, mate?”
“Remember 9-11? We rebuilt the building, better and stronger. Remember the cold war? Won it. In fact there is a piece of the Berlin Wall in every major city in the world. Including Moscow. Remember Iraq? How everyone thought we were braggarts about our military prowess and thought it’s be a bloodbath? Won that one in less than 6 weeks and did exactly what we said we could do. And now Ebola. We’re importing patients with that stuff like it’s cheese, and treating it with a success rate of nearly 100%. We don’t give up. We don’t get discouraged. We don’t ask for sympathy. We just learn from our mistakes, come up with a better plan, and move on.”
“That sounds like arrogance.”
“Yes, it certainly does. But in America’s case, it’s exceptionalism. It’s like if New Zealand were to lose to say, South Africa. You wouldn’t quit being great, you’d adjust so you don’t lose again.”
“Well said, mate, well said!”
I didn’t mention the less exceptional Americans, the ones who don’t believe we are exceptional. Namely, these people are Liberals and believe we do much more evil than good. They don’t see the rebuilding of the WTC as exceptional, but rather profiteering. They don’t see America’s nation building as exceptional, but rather Imperialism. And they don’t see the sacrifice of our soldiers as exceptional, they just see our military as pawns. And when you get a leader is who is less than exceptional, you get elections like Nov. 4, 2014.
Let the American Exceptionalism begin again!DocPatrick J. Bertroche