Replacing American Exceptionalism Part II

Jimmy Carter
Much like President Obama today, Jimmy Carter tended to embrace the Denunciatory Ethic during his presidency. We were reminded of the essence of Carter’s presidency while watching an “Iranian hostage crisis” documentary recently. When Islamic extremists took American hostages at the U.S. embassy Carter declared, “We won’t abandon our struggle for a decent and fair society here at home.” The odd aspect of this statement being that Carter felt compelled to make it immediately following his condemnation of those who took U.S. Embassy officials and other occupants as hostages in Iran.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
It was clear by Carter’s declaration that even in the aftermath of that unprovoked assault on Americans he felt it was necessary to placate America’s domestic denouncers through a brief exercise in self-flagellation. In doing so, clearly Carter was hoping to head off any insinuations that his response to the obvious aggression might actually be a misconstrued as a colonial-like exploitation campaign against the new theocracy in Iran. And much like President Obama who has also bent over backwards to try to engage in diplomacy with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, President Carter was condemned by those in power there anyway.
Jeremiah Wright
    The Reverend Jeremiah Wright in Chicago and the leaders of al Qaeda both have asked their god to “damn” America. And it is worth noting that sponsors of suicide bombers benefit greatly from the basic ethical tenets that encourage the embracing of the Denunciatory Ethic in America. No doubt recruiters of suicide bombers are grateful for any thought process that convinces Americans to project the image of a country totally dissatisfied with itself.  One of the hallmarks of the Denunciatory Ethic is a accepting an international double standard. And this double standard adds barriers to solving the enormous problems presented by international and domestic terrorists. When questioning the wisdom of the actions of foreign terrorists or their sponsoring governments is almost always quickly described by denouncers as U.S. bullying or “cultural imperialism,” it tends to compromise domestic attempts to identify the sources of terror. The best example of this is the recent reluctance by some seemingly prominent members of the White House to simply point to the extreme radical elements of Islam as a primary source of terrorist activity.
    A “national self-guilt” game is initiated whenever an attempt to turn American attention towards border security and away from its own shortcomings is made. When denouncers apply stinging criticisms of America and yet refuse to apply the same standards of behavior to all other nations, they enable the swell of global anti-American sentiment to grow. We saw a fine example of this recently. With the full support of the White House, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon (below) was allowed to criticize Arizona’s new border security law which essentially mirrors Mexico’s laws.
Felipe Calderon
How has the U.S. media dealt with the denunciation movement? For several decades the majority of urban newspapers and national television networks appeared to practically fawn over anyone willing to utter anti-American rhetoric. However, in recent years not all domestic journalism outlets have directed sympathetic coverage towards the aims or words of denouncers. Since the late 1990’s the Fox News Network has provided significant weighting in the media to the recognition of American generosity and successes rather then place an emphasis on its shortcomings and failures. American citizens have responded to this non-denunciatory approach by making Fox News the top-rated cable news network In America by a wide margin.
    Many sources within the denunciation movement attack Fox News. These attacks tend to reflect growing anguish within the denouncer community. Prior to the ascension of Fox News to the top domestic ratings spot in television news, the best way for a denouncing politician to avoid being criticized for being “dangerously patriotic” or “insensitively unconcerned” was to simply lead campaigns that trumpet American shortcomings. These days when any prominent denouncer engages in America bashing, they can count on being confronted by Fox.
In Part III we will look at how denouncers connect their words to their most favored policies.



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