American Exceptionalism and pop-culture - Part 1
This is the first entry in a new ongoing series that will look at the concept of American Exceptionalism through the lens of pop-culture. But first, what is American Exceptionalism and why is it important? It’s a belief that the US differs qualitatively from other developed nations because of its national credo, historical evolution, or distinctive political and religious institutions. This a textbook answer to a simple question. The answer essentially is that there is something exceptional about America, which makes it more exceptional than any other nation.
We as a society have taken this idea and ran with it. We chant “USA! USA! USA!” at the top of our lungs at every chance we get. You often hear the phrase, “love it or leave it,” getting tossed around when someone criticizes the country. We have even taken phrases from the American Revolution like “Don’t tread on me” or “Come and Take It,” and we use them for regular modern day things. We call our Men’s basketball team “The Dream Team.” We called our victory over the Soviet Hockey team, “The Miracle on Ice.” We even call the baseball championships the World Series. We as a country have a boisterous arrogance about us. We know we are the best, and we want everyone else to know it too. Though, this is also the same nation that rallied behind the Men’s national team at the FIFA World Cup in 2014, a sport we are notorious for not caring about, when we mounted an incredible run. It’s the same country where the son of immigrants can become a billionaire, run for political office, or start a super cool security analysis website (Hey, guys!). Americans as a people are overtly proud of who we are. We are proud of where out country came from. We are proud of where our country is going.
At least, that used to be the case. Lately, it seems that more and more people are no longer proud of this country. It seems that every misstep that occurs drags the country down. The country has become seemingly more polarized. It seems that everyone is at odds all of a sudden. I argue that that boisterous arrogance is actually a good thing, and it is needed. That strive to be the best and show that we are the best is what has always pushed us to do great things, and to be great. That attitude pushed us to put a man on the moon. That same attitude is pushing us to put a man on mars. That competitive drive is a good thing, though others may criticize us for it, it is part of America. That drive pushed us to become the nation that we are, its that drive that brought us to our seat as a global leader. So lets look a bit into that drive.
This series will examine that spirit, drive and arrogance in the best way that we know how, through pop-culture. We will look at tv-shows, movies, music and anything else captures that American spirit.
Stay Tuned for Part 2…
**As has been stated before on this site, American politics is world politics and vice versa. This series is not just about celebrating America it is about looking at the lessons we can find in the things we read, watch and listen to on a daily basis, and how they can help to better us as a nation and in turn as a world**