American Exceptionalism

In the wake of the horrific shootings at the Navy Yard here in DC, another Russian official managed to criticize America for our “exceptionalism” tweeting that “Nobody’s even surprised anymore… A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism”.

And, like Vladimir Putin in his New York Times op-ed a few days ago, he too completely missed the boat. They both clearly don’t understand what American Exceptionalism is.

I have this same discussion with my foreign friends.

It isn’t “American Exceptionalism” as in meaning we’re “excellent” or better.

It means that we are the “exception” to what was otherwise the rule at the time of our founding.

And that rule is oppression.



Full government control.

What’s special about America is exactly what is enshrined in our founding documents.


The right to life.


And the pursuit of happiness.

Rights endowed from God, not “granted” to us by dictators or kings.

Limits on what the government can do to us.

Rather than limits on what we can do as individuals.

That’s what made us special.

That’s what made us strong.

And that’s why we were able to achieve so much in such a short amount of time.

Yes, as my foreign friends always remind me, the USA is a very young country.

The amount of time we’ve been here is a drop in the bucket compared to many of the old European nations.

And yet we’ve done so much in that short amount of time.

Why is that?

Because we are the EXCEPTION to the rule.

Rather than oppress and control, we set human potential free.

(Or at least we used to…)

And that led to massive industrial and technological advancements.


Quality of life.

A massive reduction in poverty.

Putting a man on the moon.

And yes, personal freedom to do as we please.

Which isn’t a bad thing.

Not. at. all.

Even if the occasional rotten apple comes to the surface.

Disgusting and unfortunate incidents happen anywhere. Russia certainly hasn’t been exempt. (And their government is often at the root.)

So I’ll take being the exception.

Because I’d rather be able to make my own choices and achieve success, than be stuck marching to the beat of someone else’s drum.

Freedom, choices, and options.

That’s truly exceptional.

It’s the real estate entrepreneur’s lifestyle.

And it’s made possible in the USA by our Exceptionalism.

Ready to be both the EXCEPTION and EXCEPTIONAL?

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Tom Zeeb
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