Sweeper: The American Exception

America has a unique sense of nationalism that sets it apart from other countries. Unlike European nation states, America is not formed of a mostly homogeneous ethnic, religious, and cultural group. America, regardless of what the current president may think, is a nation of immigrants.

For immigrants, there is the pseudo-mythical lure of the American dream. And, as one of my colleagues points out, for Americans there is the fundamental, inarguable belief that they live in the greatest nation on Earth.

America is a country that was originally established with the desire to throw off the tyrannical rule that people felt was plaguing Europe at the time.  The second amendment exists in part to ensure that Americans have the ability to overthrow a tyrannical government.

It is therefore interesting to see how easily and comfortably Americans can adopt very extreme political views. A lot of this stems from the theme of blame and resentment. Blaming the “other” for everything that is going wrong in the country. One extreme example of this is the Ku Klux Klan, who felt that America was meant to remain a white nation and believed that the presence of the other, Catholics, Jews, blacks, was subverting this national destiny (Gordon).  

When a nation firmly believes that its own greatness depends on the extermination and erasure of the other, it inevitably creates and supports figures, such as Hitler, Windrip, and Trump, who have the power to do so.



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