Ten Examples that help define American Exceptionalism

I’ve heard these two words, American Exceptionalism, repeated for most of my life, and it is often used to support the claim that the United States is God’s country. In its classic forms, Ian Tyrrell says, “American exceptionalism refers to the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty.”

What does American Exceptionalism mean when we take into account the following facts?

  1. The United States has the largest prison population in the World. China, with almost five times the people, is ranked number two with 74% of the U.S. prison population. Russia is in third place with 29%. One industry where the U.S. is the number one producer in the world, according to Family Media.com, is pornography and 89% of the world’s pornography web pages are hosted in the United States. Germany is in second place with four percent of the U.S. total of more than 244.6 million porn pages.
  2. A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, on the well-being of children in 35 developed nations, turned up some alarming statistics about child poverty. More than one in five American children fall below a relative poverty line, which UNICEF defines as living in a household that earns less than half of the national median. The United States ranked 34th of the 35 countries surveyed, above only Romania and below virtually all of Europe plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. – The Washington Post
  3. The United States was ranked twenty-third in a new report that interviewed more than 146,000 people around the world to rank 145 countries by the wellbeing of their residents. Participants answered questions about five aspects of their well-being: their sense of purpose, social relationships, financial situations, community involvement and physical health. Based on their responses, participants were considered “thriving,” “struggling” or “suffering” in each of those five aspects. – Live Science
  4. The United States was ranked number one for defense spending in 2015. China was in second place but spends about a fourth of what the US does. Third place goes to Saudi Arabia that spent less than 10% of what the U.S. did. – Global Fire Power
  5. The United States did not make the top ten list for the World’s ten Safest Countries: Spain, Japan, Italy, France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Poland, Bangladesh and China. – Value Penguin.com

World Atlas.com published another Safest Countries in the World list of the top twenty-five, and the U.S. wasn’t on it.

Exposing Truth.com, using the Global Peace Index, listed the 11 safest countries to live in, and the U.S. wasn’t on it.

  1. In 2015, The United States fell to 20th on the Global Freedom Index. According to the Index, the freest nations in the world are, in order: Hong Kong, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom and Sweden. The United States is the only English-speaking country to rank outside the top 10. – Breitbart.com
  2. Cheat Sheet.com reports on the 10 countries that export the most weapons, and the U.S. was number one with 31% of the global market. Russia was in second place. In addition, the United States fields twenty of the largest modern aircraft carriers in the world while the rest of the world combined has a total of 17, and France, number two on this list, has only four. – Global Firepower.com
  3. According to Lists World.com the United States ranks #1 in the world for the most billionaires at 480 worth $2.05 Trillion. China was in second place with 147 worth $380 Billion.
  4. Education News.org reported that in 2015, the United States was ranked fourth on The Most Educated Countries in the World list, but how can be true when there is a movement in the United States—funded by billionaire oligarchs and corporations—claiming that public education has failed and to save America, the U.S. must privatize the public education system from a non-profit, community based, democratic and transparent system and replace it with autocratic, for-profit, opaque/secretive and often fraudulent and/or worse corporate Charter schools. The only country with more high school graduates is Japan, and the only country with a higher literacy rate than the U.S. is Finland.
  5. Transparency.org on the World Corruption Perceptions Index for 2015 ranked the U.S. #16, and Reporters Without Borders ranked the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. The U.S. was ranked #49. Finland was ranked #1.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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