American Exceptionalism? A Boiling Rabbit.

December 3, 2013

As World War II concluded, the world was a smoldering ruin. Economies lay in shambles. The mood was pervaded by distrust, xenophobia and bigotry. Humanity questioned its ability peaceably rule itself.
Amidst the ruins, the United States of America rose like a phoenix. Established the political tone. Set the global agenda. Put the world economy on its shoulders and paved the way for a global reboot.
Eventually, the league of nations rose from its knees. Established common goals. Cooler heads prevailed. And humanity, even amidst a long and grinding cold war, was redeemed.
None of which would have been possible without the noble ideals and exceptional strength of the United States.
Without the U.S., there was no victory. No just armistice. No resolve to rebuild and move forward. And, arguably, no such success in doing so.
America's post-war crowning achievement was the defeat of communism. 1989's befalling of the Berlin Wall. The liberation of millions worldwide. An idea took hold. One that Americans had harbored since 1776. Man has the right to live free from tyranny. Whether it come at the hands of others, or from his government.
The global economy soared. Modernized. And integrated. People who had much provided an example for people who had not. Free people were beacons of light to those in bondage. Beacons that resonated with the idea that men deserve freedom, liberty and justice.
Before long, dictators realized that the world had gotten smaller. That their bullying would no longer be tolerated. Not by their own people. And not by the world community.
Tyrannies abated. Colonial lands were relinquished.
Nicolae Ceausescu. Saddam Hussein. Slobodan Milosevic. Osama Bin Laden. Hosni Mubarak. Moammar Gadhafi. Each found that his time was through.
Despite the many mishaps and misadventures, U.S. leadership paved the way for global progress. Free commerce worldwide. Global travel and communications. The global community tilted in the direction of free market economies. Democracy. Free people governing free societies.
Miscreants still existed. Yet, the very idea of an American counterbalance often prevented the realization of their ideals.
America's exceptionalism provided a thoroughfare, while sometimes imperfect, by which the global community could communicate, conduct business, and peaceably interact.
Alas, that American exceptionalism appears extinct. Swept into the dustbins of history by politicians who did not believe in it. Had not the confidence for it. And would not tolerate it.
What landmarks provide testimony and evidence to this fading ideal?
Last week, America's top security analysts reported that the U.S. is more vulnerable to terrorism today that it was only three years ago. In fact, given the current violence in the middle east, and the desperate attempts to assuage last year's brutes, no one is certain where the next round of violence may erupt. Let alone who will have the temerity and wherewithal to confront it.
The world community has watched as a complete reversal has taken shape in any number of foreign policies.
France, not the U.S., pushed for tougher tactics against a radical Iranian regime that has repeatedly threatened the very existence of Israel, the middle east's one true democracy and a long-standing American ally.
The world watched as the U.S. administration appeared to acquiesce to Islamism and WMD proliferation. Deigned to play checkers, as Iran's leadership continued playing chess.
It was Germany who refused to bailout her banks. Refused to run a super deficit. Deferred on its immediate national fiscal gratification, so claiming the role as the more fiscally mature economic power.
Russia, and its oft cartoonish leader, Vlad Putin, taught the U.S. administration a lesson in effective problem solving and gamesmanship, as it cooled the tension in Syria, so saving the Obama administration from the near disaster it was apparently willing to step into. And then, as the world community looked on, Putin lecture the U.S. president on his own foreign policy in the pages of The New York Times.
America's long-time Asian Pacific allies, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, flail in the face of mounting Chinese aggression as the U.S. vacillates between the provision of a defense umbrella and pacifying a more resolute Chinese posture.
Traditionally, when U.S. leaders spoke, it sent ripples throughout the globe. Action loomed behind every word. Today, however, our word is mush. We vacillate between policy directions. Play hands against one another. Act dishonestly.
Upon learning that the U.S. government was surveilling its own citizens, the global community realized that the NSA was also spying on foreign leaders and citizens, as well.
The Internal Revenue Service admitted to directly interfering in U.S. national politics, and yet it continues to harass business owners for taxes owed and is tasked with presiding over the monolithic renovation of the largest sector in the U.S. economy, its healthcare system.
The Justice Department admits to tapping the phone lines and recording the ongoing communications of the nation's free press corps, a story that has slipped from the pages of the very media upon which the government spied.
The tragedy in Benghazi was mishandled and suppressed, at best, in the run up to last year's presidential election. Still, no heads have rolled.
This nation was, since its inception, one of free minds and free spirits. We were human beings. Fallible. But, we abided by principles that usually benefitted the global community.
Principles like loyalty. Allegiance to allies. An affinity for free markets. A predilection for freedom and democracy. Little tolerance for cruelty and brutish behavior. Property rights. Accountability. Independence.
Today, we appear lost. Half asleep. Recently waking from a dream in which the role we played was beyond our current ability. We lack conviction. Confidence. Focus.
While our leadership wavers, our allies worry, and our opponents revel, the U.S. electorate remains unconcerned. No outrage. No demand for answers, nor calls for atonement. We are too caught up in more important matters. Whatever appears on our high def, flat screen televisions. Like football. Game shows. And reality television.
So distracted are we by the media's incessant focus on retail sales, Hollywood, must-have consumer products and sporting outcomes that we've failed to recognize that, some time ago, the trajectory of the nation was altered. Today, we are veering far from our intended course.
Still, we don't yet feel the sweat gathering upon our brows. We fail to see that, while we were watching everything but what mattered most, the water slowly, imperceptibly rose to a boil.
At some point, we will wake. Realize our failure to act. And sadly recognize the burning stench of the American ideal.

Securities offered through Dempsey Lord Smith LLC – Dempsey Lord Smith LLC, Rome, GA Member FINRA / SIPC / MSRB.

Advisory Services offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Clearing through and accounts held at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC nor Hyde Park Wealth Advisors LLC provides tax or legal advice and you should consult your accountant and/or attorney if considering an investment of this type. Hyde Park Wealth Advisors LLC is not controlled by or a subsidiary of Dempsey Lord Smith LLC. Investing in Alternative Investments come with a variety of risks that could result in a complete loss of principal investment.

Alternative Investments offered as private placement securities are offered only to qualified accredited investors via confidential private placement memorandum. Income and returns are not guaranteed and there are no assurances investments will meet their stated objectives.

© 2024 Hyde Park Wealth Advisors. All Rights Reserved