American Exceptionalism Redux-io ad Absurdum

Richard The Chwalek
3 min readNov 8, 2022

Criticizing America’s past, & liberal ideas harm us irreparably, so they say.

Photo by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

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I have been a White American male for my entire 60 years. My wife and I have two twenty-something daughters. I’m a liberal Democrat, and often progressive. Yet I am likely conservative in some ways too. My father served in the US Navy during WWII. My mother became a nurse at the same time. I’d call myself a patriot, but the term has been corrupted in the last fifty years. Those are just a few of my personal stats. What kind of American does that make me?

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Do I hate America? Should I just go live another country? Am I a socialist, a communist, and-or an Antifa radical? Yet maybe I agree with some, or many, of the things you disagree with. At what point do I become your enemy? Or a hater of my country? Furthermore, why is being an Exceptionalist a prerequisite to loving my country? And why is (blindly) loving my country the acid test of my Americanness? Finally, why does you seeing every (other) liberal or Democrat as socialist saboteurs, preclude me from seeing various problems like racism, wealth and income inequality, and gender discrimination in our country? Either what I see is correct, or what you see is correct, or more likely, we both have at least some small truth that shouldn’t be drowned out by the majority, or a minority. Right?

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My parents and I diverged on issues like abortion and gay marriage, but I was never excommunicated from their lives. Neither did I do anything like that to them. While they both had died before Trump, or even Obama was elected, I want to believe nothing similar would have occurred. My dad, who died two months before Obama was elected, was less negatively against him, than he was positively for him. Any politician who supported abortions in any way would have been on his do not vote list.

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Though my mother was against abortion and gay marriage, she was for married priests. Was she an anti, or a self-loathing Catholic? Should she have just become a Lutheran like I did?!

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Both my parents fought racists during the 1960s. Were they merely radical liberal scum? When my dad, RJC, confronted his Navy mates in…

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Richard The Chwalek

Mostly serious stuff w/ bits of sarcastic fluff. I wish more could be told yet bios have room 4 short & bold. You’ll see less length isn’t my greatest strength.