I don't know what bothered me more.
Comedian Bill Maher saying we have to get over this notion of American exceptionalism.
Or his studio audience laughing at the remarks.
Well, at the risk of sounding out of step with what might be politically cool…
I take exception to those exceptionalism remarks.
Think this country is exceptional.
I think it is unique.
I think what we've created here on this planet is unique on this planet.
Because the last time I checked we are the first country entirely made up of other countries.
First country truly built by, for, and of …immigrants.
Not just from one country seeking asylum.
But from virtually all countries on earth seeking hope.
That's exceptional. And that's a fact.
Empires got that way conquering other nations.
Their residents became, through no desire of their own, residents of that empire.
They didn't run over to ancient Rome, so much as ancient Rome ran over them.
So here…where from our earliest days people ran to us.
Seeking refuge, seeking riches, seeking something better.
Peoples the world over, who left everything they knew to start over.
Bill Maher is right to say exceptionalism can lead to arrogance…but arrogance hasn't brought
Flotillas of refugees to this country to this day.
The exceptional opportunities in this country bring them to this day.
Because try as I might, I have yet to see a flotilla "leaving" this country…or a rickety make-shift boat setting sail "from" this country.
Are many things in America…cocky, argumentative, and loud.
It's in our DNA, I guess, to be rebellious to our core.
But it doesn't seem to have curbed human beings' desire to come to our shores.
I don't know what the future of this country holds.
I do know the historic place in the world it holds.
A country that has free'ed more people, enlightened more people, given hope to more people…than any country before it.
And stands to this day as a beacon because of it.
Where you can ignore her history and still make it.
Make fun of her history and get rich because of it.
That's what's exceptional about America.
Any ass has a chance.