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‘American exceptionalism’: Americans ARE the exception, just not necessarily in a good way

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I woke up this morning and as I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I dialed up the Huffington Post and read the following headline:

Number of Americans lacking medical coverage now exceeds the population of Spain.

Ouch! How fucked up is that? It’s just so depressing. Why? How was it allowed to get this bad?

Yep, there are currently 59 million of us without healthcare here in thee greatest country on earth, whereas the EU insures 100% of its population, cradle to grave, by law, including dentistry! Every major industrialized economy in the world has universal health care… except for us. We’re the exception. I don’t think this is exactly the brand of “American exceptionalism” Sarah Palin is talking about all the time, but it’s sure the way it looks from where my ass is sitting.

What we’re getting in 2014—if the Republicans can’t repeal it in the meantime—is a step in the right direction, but it’s not great. What would have been great is a single payer system, but that would have also been too easy!

In Europe for their tax dollars, they get universal health coverage. We here in America get a bunch of weapons and give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires who don’t need ‘em. Why? Because Fox News said we should. Let’s face the cold and clammy facts: we’re a country of idiots, run by a class of amoral scoundrels and criminals.

Why there isn’t rioting in the streets over the turn for the (much) worse the quality of life has taken in America is a mystery. How is it possible that it’s gotten this bad without major social unrest? Beats me.

And then to make me even more depwessed, I read this article, “America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane: A look at our empire in decline through the eyes of the European media.

Der Spiegel has run an interesting feature called “A Superpower in Decline,” which attempts to explain to a German audience such odd phenomena as the rise of the Tea Party, without the hedging or attempts at “balance” found in mainstream U.S. media. On the Tea Parties:

Full of Hatred: “The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn’t quite know what he wants to be—maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher—and he doesn’t know what he wants to do, either, or least he hasn’t come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred.”

The piece continues with the sobering assessment that America’s actual unemployment rate isn’t really 10 percent, but close to 20 percent when we factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work.

Sound like a country you know? The thing I keep obsessing over is “How much longer can the “smarts” and the “dumbs” co-exist in America?” We really don’t want the same things, you know? Sooner or later something’s got to give and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Read more of America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane (Alternet)
 

 
Thank you Steven Otero!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.28.2010
10:56 pm
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