Tuesday, May 1, 2012

E.L. Doctorow: How America Can Achieve "Unexceptionalism"

Despite the fact that conservatives consider "American exceptionalism" an article of faith, author E.L Doctorow (left) contends that the right wing is leading us toward "unexceptionalism," defined as "the political ideal that would render the United States indistinguishable from the impoverished, traditionally undemocratic, brutal or catatonic countries of the world." Doctorow outlines four phases that lead toward "unexceptionalism"; below are the first steps for each phase, three of which focus on today's reactionary Supreme Court. Within the entire commentary, which I highly recommend, Doctorow also covers Iraq, civil liberties violations, torture, income inequality, union busting, voter suppression, the wars on women and science, climate change denial, deregulation and more hallmarks of the contemporary right-wing's destructive agenda. From "Unexceptionalism: A Primer":

PHASE ONE

If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, ignore the first sacrament of a democracy and suspend the counting of ballots in a presidential election. Appoint the candidate of your choice as president...

PHASE TWO

If you’re one of the conservative majority of a refurbished Supreme Court, rule that corporations, no less than human beings, have the right under the First Amendment to express their political point of view. To come to this judgment, do not acknowledge that corporations lack the range of feelings or values that define what it is to be human. That humans can act against their own interest, whereas corporations cannot act otherwise than in their own interest. That the corporation’s only purpose is to produce wealth, regardless of social consequences...

PHASE THREE

Given corporate control of legislative bodies, enact laws to the benefit of corporate interests. For example, those laws sponsored by weapons manufacturers wherein people may carry concealed weapons and shoot and kill anyone by whom they feel threatened...

PHASE FOUR

If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, decide that the police of any and all cities and towns and villages have the absolute authority to strip-search any person whom they, for whatever reason, put under arrest...

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