One of the aspects of recent American history that I struggle to wrap my head around is the idea that we can wage two long-term simultaneous wars and engage in the associated nation building…yet we can’t be bothered to apply the same commitment of resources here at home. How is it that we can devote virtually unlimited amounts of blood and treasure to destroying Iraq and Afghanistan, yet doing the same thing here at home is derided as “Socialism?”
Two American cities- New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and now Detroit- have been allowed to decay before our eyes. Whether it be from natural disaster (New Orleans) or economic disaster (Detroit), our government and those on the Right are disinclined to deploy anywhere near the same amount of resources that have been brought to bear in Iraq and Afghanistan. While our military is building roads, bridges, and schools halfway around the world, no self-respecting politician would dream of advocating for the same thing here at home. Why is it that so many tax dollars are being expended in places that don’t even pay taxes? Why is it that rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan are examples of American exceptionalism, but rebuilding America is “Socialism?”
Say what you will, but there’s nothing exceptional about a country which spends billions rebuilding two foreign countries while refusing to do the same thing within its own borders. “American exceptionalism” is a figment of the imaginations of those whose patriotism is exceeded only by their blindness and cynicism.