Authored by William Robert Barber
President Obama, with the Golden Gate Bridge as a background, declared that America, prompted by the mindset of its inhabitants have lost their pizzazz, their inventive and imaginative wherewithal, their vision for the stupendous, noting, Hoover Dam as an example of stupendous. I think he is just upset about his non-pizzazz reception and legislative rejection of his “Jobs Bill.” Respective of the president’s motivation in declaring America, as well as, Americans as not up to the Obama standard of enthusiasm for visionary under takings; his comments did ignite an interest in introspectiveness.
I think the first national introspective look-see into the American scope of governing operations, constitutional process, and compliance was the election of 1800; wherein Thomas Jefferson, serving as Vice President, defeated Aaron Burr and John Adams. There were two hot topics at the time. The first was the growing omnipotent power of the federal government. Jefferson swore that if elected he would end the imperializing of the central government and drag Federalist such as Burr and Adams back into constitutional compliance.
The second hot topic was the Alien and Sedition Act of 1789, which was a wholly unconstitutional effort by the congress controlling Federalist to thwart immigrant (mostly Irish and French) migration into the Jefferson-Republican political sway. Additionally, via The Sedition Act portion of the law, it provided fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, congress, or the president in speech or print. Notably the exclusion of criticism was left open for the Vice-President who happened to be Thomas Jefferson.
Well, Jefferson won the election and went on to expand not simply the land mass of the United States, but the process was by means extralegal and in direct contradiction to his pre-elective promises. He forthwith purchased the Louisiana sector from France without the prior approval of the Senate and funded the Louis and Clark expectation without the pre-approval of the House of Representatives. Precedence for abuse of power was now in place this nation went on from there to enact undeclared wars; appointments, sorted funding, and only the gods know what else all in violation of the covenants and spirit of the constitution.
Obama has proven his all-encompassing sense of stupendous projects when he contrived with a lot of help from his progressive friends the healthcare legislation. Remember how that was done? All under the banner of “elections do have their consequences,” well, instead of the Federalist controlling congress in order to pass The Alien and Sedition’s Act we had the Democrats. The result was the same sort of governing: By Imperial Maxim.
Despite the contrarian’s Presidents Carter and Obama, the United States, at least since WWI, has had a particular ‘Yankee’ pride of place, personality, as well as, its very own unique sense of bucolic individualism. We Americans have described ourselves as qualitatively different then the lands of our immigrant forefathers; indeed, the phrase, American exceptionalism is a self-imposed positive descriptive used to epitomize and enunciate the contrast between the United States and other countries.
Some would counter this idea of American exceptionalism as a conceit, an apocryphal, a Terpsichorean romantic tale, a symptom of advanced hauteur disseminated by right-wing zealots seeking to provoke the intrinsic Yankee spirit of war-mongering; therefore furthering, the continuum of dominance that supports the ideals of American-Imperialism.
Surely, historically and hysterically there is enough good, bad, and ugly to support either interpretation of the American introspective ideal. And since perception is a substantive quotient of reality one must choose (the choice being a personal one) which introspective interpretive one deduces as the most rational and sound of reason.
Interestingly, irrespective of one’s choice of perspective, undeniably, it is the United States of America that leads the world. Not just the western democracies, but also the undeveloped portions of the world; they collectively look to America for leadership. Unless willing to technologically devolve into the 7th century, even our enemies could not survive without America’s world presence.
I guess Obama can believe whatever suits his interpretive of America; he has obviously voiced his ideal of America and Americans. My preference is to think of this nation as the greatest that has ever raised its head above the suppressive chaos that was the governing norm, the societal ordinary and the cultural mundane. I particularly respect the never-give-up, always enduring, blood and guts that have defined this nation before its legal inception. So for me stupendous is innate and generic to America and all its Americans.
I choose American exceptionalism…