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At a recent debate when Ron Paul mentioned the "Golden Rule," that we should treat foreigners as we should be treated, he was booed by a number of people in the audience. This happened at a previous debate. At that previous debate, Paul further questioned how we would like it if a foreign government invaded and occupied the U.S. and set up its military bases here.
How can so many people (and so many popular radio talk hosts and their listeners) condemn the suggestion that everyone must be equal under the rule of law?
The myth of American exceptionalism is that the U.S. is an example of moral progress, peace and prosperity for the rest of the world to follow. But that has not been the case during most of America's existence.
Perhaps America was somewhat exceptional at its founding, when the ideas of the rights of the individual and private property were taken seriously. But when a Constitution, which limited the rights of the individual and empowered a centralized government, was written and ratified, that was really the end of such moral exceptionalism.
The societal and moral advancement that the Founders took from the Enlightenment has tended to regress backwards, as America's federal government continually expanded in size and intrusiveness, and its actions overseas became more primitively aggressive.
The moral degeneracy of America escalated considerably when Honest Abe Lincoln waged a brutal and immoral war against civilians in order to compel the population into a life of enslavement by central planners. Woodrow Wilson unnecessarily extended World War I, which contributed to the rise of Hitler. FDR's New Deal really was the final nail in the coffin for whatever freedom there was remaining in America.
In foreign affairs, for the past century the reality of American exceptionalism has been this: that our government may interfere in the internal affairs of foreign nations, may place its governmental apparatus and military bases on other peoples' territories, may commit acts of aggression, murder, and property destruction, and get away with it through rationalization and propaganda — but other governments may not do that on our lands or do those things to our people.
American exceptionalism is the belief that our government need not be accountable under the rule of law, while we hold foreigners accountable.
Regarding the current "War on Terror," yes, real terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001. But when our government then invades and destroys whole countries that had nothing to do with 9/11, then you should logically expect the targeted innocent foreigners to defend their territories.
One thing that America's government-controlled schools (both public and private) have accomplished over the past century is the suppression of critical thinking skills. Instead, because the people have allowed the almighty State and its media stenographers and propagandists so much influence and intrusion into the entire education system, the result has been generations of people with an instilled unquestioned loyalty to the State theocracy.
Because of this, America has become increasingly authoritarian and restrictive in its liberty to the point of the police state and non-sustainable, bankrupting empire we currently suffer. Those who question The Powers That Be are themselves stigmatized and marginalized, and in some cases, punished and persecuted. Americans have been cheering their government's illicit aggressions overseas, and booing those who stand for the Golden rule and the rule of law.
In fact, some of the same people who have been supporting the U.S. government's immoral aggressions overseas have been those preaching the loudest about "Christian moral values." Sorry, but when one supports one's government invading other countries that were of no threat to us, one's preaching of Christian morality is just hypocrisy.
And when people assert Americans' right to defend America against invaders, yet refer to foreigners who defend their own lands, their lives and their families from invaders and occupiers as "terrorists," no wonder Christianity and moral values have declined in America.
The narcissism of modern State worship is such that, when the exceptionalists assert that the U.S government must have a "presence" on foreign lands, it is as though they view those lands as theirs, just like a possessive child would do. It seems more like covetousness, if you ask me.
No, the narcissistic exceptionalists, who pray to the democratic god of the secular State, seem to believe that their government may commit acts of aggression against foreigners, but not the other way around. Praise the almighty State, as it can do no wrong.
Former Senator and current presidential candidate Rick Santorum seems to be one of those more outspoken worshipers of the State and its aggressive expansion overseas. Santorum even believes in the central planning of the almighty State domestically, in the social area.
Santorum wants to use the armed police apparatus of the State to impose his own personal social views onto the rest of the population, much like the Islamists that he ironically criticizes for wanting to impose their Sharia Law onto others.
If we don't behave in our private lives as Santorum and his beloved almighty State order us to do, then we are infidels, apparently.
And I heard another American exceptionalist recently, Sean Hannity, express total cluelessness in his pushing the anti-Iran fear-mongering that is being used to start yet another unnecessary, counter-productive war. In arguing with a caller, Hannity was saying that (and I am paraphrasing) he merely wanted to prevent mass violence and bloodshed that could be prevented by forcibly removing Iran's nuclear capability. Hannity was referring primarily to protecting Israel (despite the fact that Israel has a few hundred nuclear warheads and Iran knows this).
So regarding the possibility of mass bloodshed, Hannity has apparently been oblivious to the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis throughout the 1990s, killed by U.S. government violence and sanctions, and the further hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis since the U.S. government's 2003 invasion.
Because of reliance on mainstream news outlets and talk radio for their brainwashing information, most people don't even know recent history, and they therefore don't seem to understand Ron Paul's point about "blowback."
When dissidents openly criticize the State, its intrusions and its violence, the faithful seem intensely threatened, as though they have been personally harmed. The dissidents must be booed and ostracized, even though here Ron Paul is the one with the sense of morality and he is the one who believes that our government must be accountable under the rule of law as others must be.
But as our society gradually degenerated over the past century in its abandonment of moral values and the rule of law, it should be of no surprise now that the exceptionalists have no problem with their primitive priests of the almighty State apprehending and detaining someone without charges, without even being required to show evidence against the accused, as agents in an advanced society would have to do. The exceptionalists have faith in their beloved State (until they find themselves falsely accused and unlawfully detained, of course).
The religion of State has shown its ugliness with the Bradley Manning whistleblower case. Many people have reacted emotionally to this case, and with much ignorance, that's for sure. It is as though whistleblower critics have been on a medieval witch hunt with the Manning case.
This young soldier allegedly released "classified" information to WikiLeaks. But, if the chat logs are legitimate, Manning's motivations were not on behalf of any foreign government, financial interest or any element hostile to America.
On the contrary, Manning's motive was out of love for his country, and to expose the corruption of our government's imbecilic bureaucrats and expose the military's war crimes. If anything were un-American, it would be covering up those crimes.
And despite the government's hysterical propaganda, the truth is that the release of the classified information probably could not have caused any harm to any U.S. soldier overseas or to any American at home.
Some critics of Manning and WikiLeaks' Julian Assange have been calling for their imprisonment or death. That is because the critics' loyalty just doesn't seem to be as much to their country as it seems to be to the government, the almighty State.
That is what our sick culture has become: an authoritarian theocracy with total rule over us. The Total State seems to be what the primitive-thinking narcissists want, and that is why so many people cheer the State, cheer its wars and the deaths of foreigners, and that is why they boo the ideas of freedom, personal responsibility and accountability under the rule of law.
With our authoritarian culture now, we are definitely surrounded — not by Muslims, but by the almighty criminal State, by federal, state and local government Gestapo bureaucrats.
And we are doomed unless we reverse course — and that means chopping away at the many, many layers of Leviathan, the bureaucracies, the foreign bases and the domestic camps, chopping away until we finally are able to restore the freedom the founders envisioned when they created America.