American exceptionalism, I admit, is not intuitively understandable; it also rings a little pompous and arrogant. It is, in fact, meant to trumpet that we do things differently here; that, “We the people” are top dog, we rule the roost, we define our government, and we assign it a portion of our individual liberty to safe keep. To analogize in the modern parlance of the internet I offer you the following:
We the people of these United States own and operate the domain AMERICA. We are also its users, we inhabit it, we experiment in it, we create content in it; it is ours individually to conceptualize in ways unimaginable. A single self constraint upon our individual endeavors is the philosophy of doing no harm to others; or, in clearer words, not infringing on others freedom and liberty while pursuing our own. Recognizing AMERICA does not operate alone on the World Wide Web (WWW) and that day to day tasks are required for it to operate smoothly we the people let this work out to a select few of our fellow owners / users. To make clear what is required of these governing roles we created our Terms Of Service (TOS), The Constitution of the United States of America, and those selected are sworn to uphold and operate within it. In the course of carrying out the TOS, recognizing difficulty in separating their duel roles of owner / user and governor, questions began to arise and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), The Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the TOS, were created. These TOS and FAQ’s represent the total amount of freedom we are willing to turn over to the governing of our domain and it is incumbent upon each of us to be aware that if it is not listed in them then we the people, individually, are responsible.
Recognizing in this representation the UNIQUE reversal of the power structure we are most frequently exposed to we see American exceptionalism. America = Owners / Users over the TOS; and not, Ruler / Monarchy / Government / Content Provider TOS over the users. This “against the grain” concept is our nation’s greatest creation and subsequently each generation’s greatest struggle to retain. As Americans, while time passes and we individually pursue our own happiness, we forget that we are swimming against the current of everything else flowing around us and we drift backward. In complacency we neglect our own individual responsibilities and demur more and more of our freedom and liberty to the government.
So when you vote, meet with an elected official, or speak with someone running for office remember our TOS and FAQ’s. Remind those with ideas to change America of the Ninth and Tenth Amendment and then encourage them into the appropriate private sector instead of allowing them into government. If persistent and we manage this way long enough; maybe, just maybe, we can swim back upstream to the ideal our founding fathers envisioned. And if we seem a little brash, excessive, chaotic, and loud to the rest of the world; beg pardon, promise to tone it down, and explain that is only our nature after two hundred years of exercising individual freedom and liberty.