We Are Not Special, and There Is No Happy Ending: The Blood-Drenched Darkness of American Exceptionalism

When we believe that America and Americans are unique and uniquely good in all of history, we will also believe that there is no problem we cannot overcome. Our political leaders tell us this fable time and again; many Americans are eager to believe it, in the manner of a damaged child who appeals to mysterious powers to vanquish the dangers lurking in the shadows of his room. We witness this mechanism in connection with a wide range of problems, even when those problems reach the catastrophic level.

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