What Is It About American Exceptionalism That Makes Us So Passive?

America’s a little quirky. I mean, we hoot and holler about establishing a system to provide all citizens health protection through insurance, and an angry “Tea Party” arises…

But we sit idly aside as school budgets are decimated, the middle-class grows extinct, u-6 unemployment levels reach close to 20%, Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court kill popular democracy and instill oligarchic democracy with the United Citizens decision providing political rights to lifeless corporations, and congress and the president negotiate how to extend excessive tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of the nation.

But, in Europe…

try to understandably raise retirement age to 62 years of age or increase student fees… and all hell breaks loose! No apathy in the EU. They let their governments know when things are awry.

Take today, for instance:

Angry protesters in London attacked a car containing Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in the heart of London’s shopping district. Protesters cracked a window and hit the Rolls Royce with paint, the BBC reported. The car then drove off.

Prince Charles and wife as their Rolls Royce is attacked by protestors

Protestors vandalize and attack the UK Treasury Building

Protesters had earlier clashed with police outside British parliament in central London all day as the government approved plans to triple tuition fees paid by university students from about $4700 to $14,100. Students marched through central London, banging drums, waving placards and chanting “education is not for sale,” as weeks of nationwide protests reached a crescendo and groups of protesters tore down barricades and threw paint bombs, as police with batons fended off others in attempts to reinforce a security cordon near Parliament. Despite minor scuffles, the massive march remained largely peaceful.

British Parliament surrounded by protestors

Additionally, the U.K. government passed a four-year package of spending cuts worth 81 billion pounds ($128 billion), which will lead to the loss of hundreds-of-thousands of public sector jobs and cut or curtail hundreds of government programs.

Some commentators say the student protests could be a prelude to wider unrest as austerity measures start to bite and hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost in the public sector.


Millions in France Protested Raising Retirement Age to 62

France is raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 in one of many moves that will anger workers. The change is part of sweeping reforms in a €100 billion French austerity package.

Strikes against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62 shut down trains, transit, fuel depots, planes, and schools across the country.

At one point, far fewer than half of the Paris Metro’s lines were working, according to the RATP public transit network, and about half of France’s long-distance trains were canceled, according to the SNCF state-run rail system. Nearly all flights were canceled at Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports, the Paris airport authority said. Post offices and even opera houses were hit too as about 1-in-5 civil servants did not go to work.


One response to “What Is It About American Exceptionalism That Makes Us So Passive?

  • Dave W.

    I’m not sure what to think of Americans these days …are we all just fools or gullible or by choice ignorant of reality or facts?! The rich get richer and poor get poorer ….the “American dream” is now bygone lore. People believe what ever they want without regard to fact and reality.

    It is time for a social revolution in this country …Americans go through one about every hundred years ..1770’s, 1860’s, 1960’s ….I don’t think we can wait fifty more….

    “Democracy is threatened by the inertia of good people, by the selfishness of most people, and by the evil designs of a few people” S. King

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