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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Letter to the Editor: Is America 'exceptional'? Only if we put the war industry out of business

  • There are plenty of facts that should bring us down to earth.
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  • During this Presidential campaign the term American Exceptionalism has been spoken by the candidates. In its classic form, American Exceptionalism refers to the special character of the U.S. as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty.  The U.S. is often said to be a model which should be emulated by the rest of the world.  With this stated, let’s review some truths/facts about the U.S. position in the world today.
        Among industrial nations the U.S. has: the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children; the greatest inequality of incomes and lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged. These truths are accompanied by the: highest infant mortality rate, highest obesity rate, highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita, lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP, highest homicide rate, largest prison population, highest military spending as a portion of GDP and largest arm sales.
        The facts stated above are to bring us all down to Earth, so to speak and look past myth.  There is no doubt as to why the U.S. position compared to other industrialized nations is so pathetically poor.  These nations do not spend half of their revenues on the Military as the U.S. does.  The Dept. of Defense with its huge Pentagon budget, trillion dollar wars – Iraq and Afghanistan, take revenues away from funding human needs and care of our environment.  There is no justification for the War Industry when so many of our people are without health care, decent housing and safe neighborhoods.  We all need to express our disdain for the misuse of our tax money.  A nation that leads in the promotion of peace, equality of its people and sustainability of our environment/earth is a true    model / example for all the world.  With the War Industry put out of business that goal can be achieved.

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