Friday December 11, 2015
American Exceptionalism, and Why Donald Trump is Against It
A lot of idiocy in the news these past few weeks, most of it based on fear-mongering and divisiveness. And yes, Donald Trump has been responsible (or irresponsible) for much of it. The latest, of course, is his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
In response, journalist/author Fareed Zakaria has an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that's worth reading. Zakaira says he finds the rhetoric appalling not because he's a Muslim but because he's American.
The tragedy is that, unlike in Europe, Muslims in the United States are by and large well-assimilated. I remember talking to a Moroccan immigrant in Norway last year who had a brother in New York. I asked him how their experiences differed. He said, “Over here, I’ll always be a Muslim, or a Moroccan, but my brother is already an American.”
That's key. That's important to remember. If Patricia and I moved to China and had kids, we and they would never be considered Chinese; we would always be foreigners. But in America, eventually, if not immediately, you become American. That's American exceptionalism to me. We are a microcosm of the world. If we can make it work here, then the world has a chance.
Donald Trump has spent the last six months arguing against what makes us exceptional, and doing so under a banner of patriotism. To me, he's as anti-American as they come.