Recently, many people have considered American Exceptionalism to be a myth, nothing more. I believe that this is wrong, and that I live in a country that is exceptional. This exceptionalism comes from the land, the people, and the spirit.
The geographic area the United States occupies is amazing. There are many excellent harbors, at New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Mobile, and Cheaspeake Bay protects Norfolk and Baltimore, these provide a base for our sea-going trade and navy. The mineral resources are excellent, and there are few lands that are better endowed. From the Texas Oil fields to Minnesota's Iron Ranges, and Califonia's Gold fields to the Appliachian Coal mine, the many items from the Earth are second to none. The forests of America are huge, providing wood for our furniture, and paper, giving an unmatched amount of fibers. The fertility of America is amazing. The croplands of the Midwest feed the world, with the parts of the south still growing cotton and tobacco. Califonia provides fresh food all year, and the livestock industry is huge. The river system in the heartland is hugely important, as are the Great Lakes. The Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio system ranks among the most important river systems economically, and its navigable length is important. The Great Lakes are important because for their season, we had a massive number of ships on there. The geographic argument is one of the oldest, as it was mentioned in the Federalist.
The people of the United States are important, because of how they give vitality and culture from the land. We, as descendants of immigrants, have several traditions to look to. Culturally, Great Britian is still looked to, and many continental European areas provide inspiration. The Germans built the Midwest, with many small groups coming to provide people, the Polish ranking among the first. In the state of Ilinois, Casmir Pulaski Day is legal holiday, remembering the Polish General who founded the U.S. Army's Calvary. The influences of Asia cannot be forgotten, as Asian restaurants are common. Unfourtouneatly, the people of Africa lost most of their heritage in the slave trade. The people as individuals are also important, because Americans are easily the most enterpenurial and inventive in the world. Electric lighting was made by an American lab, and the Genie of Nuclear Power was released through the efforts of refugee and native scientists and Federal money. The Airplane was built by a pair of High School Dropouts by experiments, with computers perfected by Americans. How are these people not exceptional?
The Spirit of America is what is most important. The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most influnential piece of political rhetoric ever. The idea that government ruled, “ . . .from the just consent of the Governed,” was revolutionary in an age of aristocrats, and it still strikes a chord to this day. The Federalist, is the premier work on how a government should be, provides ideas for why the Constitution was written in its form. The spirit of independence is culturally with us. Think the image of the Cowboy in popular culture. He is by himself and independent, but he still has a team to fall back on. The spirit is also one of community, we do not live alone, but we support our neighbors, helping them generously. This extends to other realms too. The spirit also shows in American war fighting. As a rule, American soldiers almost go out of their way to avoid civilian casualties, while trying to utterly vanquish the opponent. Our Marines have a motto: No Better Friend, No Worse an Enemy than a Marine. In Germany and Japan we built lasting peace after 1945, and we work in Iraq to build a civil society and make the lives of people better. Why do we do this? A democratic nation in that region ethnically and religiously similar to its autocratic neighbors radically changes the whole region. Abraham Lincoln summed up how we operate after wars: “With charity towards all, and malice towards none,” is a very American attitude to a defeated enemy. The spirit of America is of great importance because it is worth fighting for. The knowledge that somewhere, a man can own his property, start a business, and work from nothing to wealth gives great hope to those who are held back. The spirit of America is one where people go beyond expectations,. If there is one thing that we have, it is a spirit of hope.
Really, if there is one nation that is exceptional, it is the United States of America. Our land was built for a nation of great size and importance. Our people are amazing, coming from disparate locations, and molding into a nation state with an amazing soul. The spirit of America is an amazing one of personal and national independence, team work, and mercy. I am truly proud of being an American.