Everest 12 (Larry, author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda, political writer for Revolution, “Confronting American Chauvinism” Counterpunch, July 24th, 2012, http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/24/confronting-american-chauvinism/)
I’ve covered and opposed U.S. wars and imperialism for years—from Vietnam “back in the day” to reporting on Iran’ s 1979 revolution against the U.S.-backed tyrant and torturer, the Shah; investigating the poison cloud that spewed from a Union Carbide plant massacring 10,000 to 15,000 people in Bhopal India; seeing the made-in-USA tear gas and rubber bullets used by Israel to injure and kill Palestinians in Gaza in the 1988-89 Intifada; helping document the murderous impact of U.S. sanctions on Iraq, which killed over 500,000 Iraqi children in the 1990s; and writing about the imperialist agenda behind the U.S. “war on terror,” the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the current threats against Iran. Over these years, many have protested and spoken out against U.S. wars and interventions, and there have been some bold stands against U.S. chauvinism, including raising the Vietnamese National Liberation Front flag during Vietnam War protests, and standing with the Iranian people and declaring “It’s not our Embassy!” during the 1979-1981 “hostage crisis.” And the sentiment that it’s wrong to value American lives over the lives of others has spread (although it must be said that far too often opposition to U.S. crimes is framed in terms of the cost to America and Americans, thus reinforcing the very ideology used to justify these crimes). But because the capitalist-imperialist system has remained in place, the U.S. continues to rain death and destruction across the planet—via ecological damage and climate change, wars, and imperialist-driven impoverishment and dislocation.And with their system facing new challenges and stresses, the U.S. rulers—whether Democrats or Republicans—are even more stridently promoting America No. 1 exceptionalism and the baseless notion that American lives are worth more than others. Let’s be clear—this poisonous idea is one reason there is way, way too much silence when Obama illegally assassinates people in Yemen, Pakistan, or Somalia. Or when Afghans are massacred, tortured, or brutalized by U.S. troops. Why does Mr. Barack “change-you-can-believe in” Obama end every major speech with “May God bless America”?Every issue—from jobs to manufacturing to the environment—gets filtered through “what’s good for America,” and how “we” can keep America No. 1. All this is sickening and immoral. As U.S. chauvinism grows ever more hideous, going straight up against the America uber alles mentality and broadly popularizing the outlook and morality expressed by those two BAsics quotes is right on time! The quotes plant a radically different pole, and call for a radically different morality and imagination. If you really start thinking about what putting the world first and not valuing American lives above others actually means, the implications are deep and far reaching. You start thinking in terms of facing and working on the problems of humanity and the planet as a whole—not just America’s (or your own). You start thinking about how the vast majority of people around the world—billions of people—are forced to live and the unspeakable abuses they suffer. You think about the war being waged in one form or another on women—half of humanity! You follow what’s happening to the planet’s ecosystems. You learn about and face the fact that a very small handful of people centered in a few powerful imperialist countries are exploiting and strangling millions upon millions. And you start thinking about what it’s really going to take to end these needless nightmares—not just being “sorry” or “concerned” about them.
American policy has created a state of denial
Ferreri 14 (Allen J., Master of Science in Education from the New York College at Brockport Department of Education and Human Development, “Challenging American Exceptionalism in the 21st Century” Brockport, January 2014, http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1369&context=ehd_theses)
These policies have created a sense of American denial. Today, Americans are in a state of denial concerning where their country stands in the world because, like Pei states, Americans want to look forward and believe that their values and institutions will carry them onto better pastures. Americans are lulled into a state of trust, believing that American leaders will make the best decisions for the country, not just for themselves and their wealthy friends.Recent history may paint a different picture. The American spirit and the American Dream feed this denial filled nationalism, as Americans are told as young children that they can grow up to be whatever they want as long as they work hard and go to school. Americans are indoctrinated in the idea that they will have a job and be successful as long as they adhere to the American way of life and work hard. However, there is an increasing rate of unemployed college graduates, and the next generation of Americans seems destined to not surpass the accomplishments of their parents and grandparent’s generations. Is this brand of American nationalism and foreign policies of American exceptionalism possibly due for a revision?Could it be that this nationalist pride and exuberant exceptionalist ideology created an America that through its actions is not exceptional at all, but is in fact is the complete opposite: unremarkable at best, Ferreri 13 destined to be remembered as the country that squandered its moment of greatness?
Roll of the Ballot
Insert your own role of the ballot
Marable 84 (Manning, Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and Professor of History at Columbia University, “Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance and Radicalism” p.198-99)
Black Americans also comprehend that peace is not the absence of conflict. As long as institutional racism, apartheid, and social class inequality exist, social tensions will erupt into confrontations. Most blacks recognize that peace is the realization of social justice and human dignity for all nations and historically oppressed peoples. Peace more than anything else is the recognition of the oneness of humanity. As Paul Robeson, the great black artist and activist, observed in his autobiographical work Here I Stand, “I learned that the essential character of a nation is determined not by the tipper classes, but by the common people, and that the Common people of all nations are truly brothers in the great family of mankind.” Any people who experience generations of oppression gain an awareness of the innate commonalty of all human beings, despite their religions, ethnic, and political differences. In order to reverse the logic of the Cold War, white Americans must begin to view themselves as a distinct minority in a world dominated by people of color. Peace between the superpowers is directly linked to the evolution of democratic rights, economic development, and social justice in the third world periphery. Black intellectuals, front W.E.B. DuBois to the present, have also comprehended their unique role in the struggle for peace arid social justice. Cultural and intellectual activity for it is inseparable from politics. All art and aesthetics, scientific inquiry, and social studies are directly or indirectly linked to the material conditions of human beings, and the existing set of power relationships which dictates the policies of the modern state. When intellectual artists fail to combat racial or gender inequality, or the virus of anti-Semitism, their creative energies may indirectly contribute to the ideological justification for prejudice and social oppression. This is equally the case for the problem of war and peace. Through the bifurcation of our moral and social consciences against the cold abstractions of research and “value-free” social science, we may console ourselves by suggesting that we play 110 role in the escalation of the Cold War political culture. By hesitating to dedicate ourselves and our work to the pursuit of peace and social justice, we inevitably contribute to the dynamics of national chauvinism, Militarism, and perhaps set the ideological basis necessary for World War III. Paul Robeson, during the Spanish Civil War, expressed the perspective of the black Peace tradition as a passionate belie in humanity: “Every artist, every scientist must decide, now, where he stands, life has no alternative. There are no impartial observers. The commitment to contest public dogmas, the recognition that we share with the Soviet people a Community of social, economic, and cultural interests, force the intellectual into the terrain of ideological debate. If we fail to do so, and if the peace consensus of black America remains isolated from the electoral mainstream, the results may be the termination of humanity itself.