Monday, July 4, 2011

Why America Is Exceptional - Fourth of July

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...Image via WikipediaAsk yourself how it's possible, a group of men could sign a document 235 years ago, resulting in a country that eventually would dominate a world culturally, economically, societally, and militarily. Even though other nations had a 1000 year head start and they still couldn't attain the same result.

Is America exceptional or as President Obama stated in April 2009, "America was not any more exceptional than any other country."

The beginning of American exceptionalism started with the revolution. The founders wanted to write a Constitution that would not fail man as past documents have. They believed the rule of law was the basic foundation of a people who's success or failure depended on their own efforts. They believed government could not guarantee or provide anyones basic needs. They started with the premise that all men were created equal. This gave all men an even starting point in their lives. It would be up to them to make it work. It was the being of the American tradition of self reliance.

The founders new then that government was not the solution but the problem. Even today men still think government can cure all of the people problems. The founders knew that government needed to get out of the way of it's citizens because the people had it with in them to make their lives work. Anything the government touched would not be as efficient as men and women taking care of their own lives. Governments job was not help all citizens succeed, it was supposed to make the playing field level, giving all the opportunity to succeed, not guaranteeing success.

No government is like America. Most revolutions seek to destroy the existing class order and use all-powerful government to mandate an equality of result rather than of opportunity. The Founders were convinced that constitutionally protected freedom would allow the individual to create wealth apart from government. Such enlightened self-interest would then enrich society at large far more effectively that could an all-powerful state.

In America we trust in the common man, not the government. In other lands, the government is the nanny of the people. There is an innate distrust in the government and the elite bureaucracy it creates. Confidence in the common man is the backbone of our success in the past and the only way to a prosperous future.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say American exceptionalism has its roots in these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Constitution further enshrined this concept by expressly limiting the role of federal government. The American Experiment is looking rather ragged these days because we have deviated from our founding principles and given way too much power to the federal government to regulate people's lives and confiscate their wealth.

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