On American ‘exceptionalism’

To the editor:

Often I have traveled overseas and have had many introspective observations in regard to American “exceptionalism.”

Especially true is that the educational systems, health care systems, prison effectiveness, job markets, and infrastructure are far superior in dozens of foreign countries than they are right here at home in the good ‘ol USA. I usually return back home from several long overseas trips with luggage full of presents, many treasured memories, stories of new friends, while at the same time in my own mind celebrating other nations while painfully lamenting my own, only to be called “unpatriotic” by family and friends whenever I candidly express my opinions and viewpoints.

“Buy American!” Of course! Sure I will, if for no other reason than to support the companies domiciled here, but not because their products or services are of any better quality (actually inferior is the norm) than German, French, Korean, and Japanese goods.

So progresses our country now into the middle of the 21st century. I fear for my niece and nephew that the momentum simply is not there for success, that there is an excess of potential energy as opposed to kinetic energy, and that their lives will be burdened by a woefully underfunded and ineffective Social Security program, which painfully and desperately needs to be privatized by our elected officials very soon, an inferior medical care sector, and carry the financial obligations of having to support the very large retirement pensions of both their own parents and grandparents in order to be able to play shuffleboard and golf in Florida in comfort and style, and to gamble it all away in Las Vegas.

Brent J. Hodkey