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Late Night: She Says She Talks to Angels

American Exceptionalism?

Nationwide addictions. Nationwide delusions. Nationwide desecration and self-destruction.

America hasn’t hit bottom yet, but we can damn well see it from here.

Because of her special specialness, America is not going to understand she’s no longer great and glorious until final impact, until there’s nothing left of this country but a smoking crater nationwide.

She says she talks to angels,
They call her out by name.
Oh yeah, she talks to angels,
Says they call her out by her name
. . .

Over the last two centuries, prominent Americans have described the United States as an “empire of liberty,” a “shining city on a hill,” the “last best hope of Earth,” the “leader of the free world,” and the “indispensable nation.” These enduring tropes explain why all presidential candidates feel compelled to offer ritualistic paeans to America’s greatness.

Declarations of American exceptionalism rest on the belief that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation, one that loves peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law. Americans like to think their country behaves much better than other states do, and certainly better than other great powers. If only it were true. The United States may not have been as brutal as the worst states in world history, but a dispassionate look at the historical record belies most claims about America’s moral superiority.

Moral superiority? We left moral superiority behind long ago and are setting new records for immoral superiority.

She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket,
She wears a cross around her neck.

Enslaved Africans have seen that cross, Native American victims of genocide have seen that cross, conquered Filipinos have seen it, firebombed Japanese have seen it, napalmed Vietnamese have seen it, “liberated” Iraqis have seen it, dark-skinned people all over the world have been granted the privilege of seeing that cross around America’s neck. She’s showing it to frightened immigrant children now, then sending them back to be killed.

Let that be a lesson to them for daring to breathe the sacred air of this uniquely virtuous nation.

She paints her eyes as black as night now, pulls those shades down tight . . .

We are increasingly becoming a society of secret laws, which corrupts not only the democratic legislative process but also the open judiciary that is so crucial in a democratic society. Examples include the secret FISA Court extending its reach into interpretive constitutional rulings, and the Justice Department refusing to reveal how it is interpreting and carrying out numerous laws, including those involving Patriot Act surveillance, the war powers used to order drone strikes against American citizens, and GPS and other location-tracking technology. The corruption that secrecy brings is growing not just within the executive branch, it’s spreading to the legislative and judicial branches as well.

So here we are . . .

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