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Peace, Justice & Freedom

The Stubborn Myth: American Exceptionalism

MQ-04062012-Pogo-Enemy-oumggaI’m a semi-retired professor, was publicist and editor for the American Federation of Teachers, worked with the Portland Alliance and have a relatively complex geopolitical orientation.

When I was still a teenager in St. Louis I delighted in poetry and blues on Gaslight Square in the early sixties, was beaten by the Boston Police in 69 and have been an involved participant in events and times ‘tween then and now as writer, teacher, journalist, organizer and editor in St. Louis, L.A., Flagstaff, Missoula, and Portland.

I’ve enjoyed “working” as a radio show host and remain on the reserve team with Labor Radio at KBOO in PDX. I am committed to Jobs with Justice, unions and civic- engagement.

Most of us know that American exceptionalism requires an untenable suspension of disbelief.  And the illusion is not convincing.

American exceptionalism refers to the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty.”

But at this point in time, it is apparent that Obama is not on our side. What baffles me is how otherwise intelligent people persist in pretending.  Barack Obama endorses capital punishment, in spite of known victims of this bad law. Murdering prisoners does not deter crime and this judicial homicide is not legal in any other Western-industrialized nation.

Obama endorses and embraces corporate wars of choice: by definition these are war crimes.
Facts remain: no matter how much anyone wants to pretend, Barack Obama has governed like a right-wing con from the get-go.

Republicans work for the corporate elite and brag about it.
Democrats work for the corporate elite and lie about it.
Both endorse wars for profit.  Why pretend?
Reality Persists.

All of us are individual human beings with values, needs and passions.

Nations are not our leaders, nor are we only represented by the corporate elite.  Countries include thousands or millions of vulnerable, complex and compassionate human beings.  We vary. And no amount of corporate propaganda will change this.

American “exceptionalism” is a sad corporate myth. And national, racial and gender stereotypes represent investments of billions in corporate propaganda for disinformation on radio, TV and the rest of the fourth estate. (corporate and otherwise)  Our so-called leaders are bought and paid for in pursuit of wars for profit.
It is possible to cut to the chase.  Life is real, the struggle continues, coffins mount…  and informed resistance is preferable
to unending wars supported by studious denial and fear.

The state of the nation need not become a “spiralling into decline.”  We can select more thoughtfully when establishing priorities:

war, peace, justice,Demilitarize Police Departments: Train Peacekeepers and Prosecute bad cops. inequity, repression and freedom are stark choices.

…Right here at home in our own back yards.

Tim Flanagan

Neil Young sings “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” at…

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