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Whatever happened to exceptionalism?

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FromEditorsDesk Tony CroppedBy Tony Farkas

Most likely many of you watched the anachronistic games being played out last weekend with the coronation of King Charles III.

All the pomp and heraldry went along with installing a man to a monarchy that has been nothing more than magisterial cosplay for decades, even though there’s a sizeable chunk of change given to the royals every year.

While the pageantry probably was epic, it’s a reminder of why the United States exists, in that the founding fathers and the pilgrims moved away from to establish a country that eventually became one of the world’s great superpowers.

Over the years, the allure of America captured many imaginations, even those of the immigrants escaping war, famine or other oppression. The American Dream not only became something immigrants reached for, but something we as Americans strived for, and told anyone who would listen about the greatness of this country.

Opportunities for success were — and are — available to any and everyone. All that’s required is hard work and dedication, and a hands-off approach from the government, and to coin a phrase, the world was your oyster.

Somewhere along the way, the dream was replaced.

Individual rights, along with property rights, were revered as part of the dream. We could be anything we wanted, own anything we wanted — all we had to do was knuckle down. That has for the most part become societal, meaning groups as a whole are expecting to be catered to.

The blame for that lies in us, but only in that we’ve allowed the country to become a pale representation of exceptionalism, and the ladder of success has been replaced with mediocrity fueled by envy.

Rich people, who have benefited from the American Dream, are being cast as villains for succeeding at the very thing that helped make this country what it is. Poor and unfortunate people are being cast as victims, and demand to be made whole.

And because of that, at the urging of our elected officials looking to “do something” about problems, the government has become sort of the light at the end of the tunnel for everything from health care to poverty to banking. Because of that meddling, these officials have set themselves up as an elite class, and any “solution” to problems will be borne on the backs of regular people while furthering the power aims of government.

The rich, which are now demons, are now expected to foot the bill for everything that is even remotely viewed as a problem; the government, which are now heroes, look as if they actually care about the little person.

The government perpetuates this through fomenting division, through race, income and even education.

There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to new heights, and even less wrong with achieving that. Nothing frees a society like self-determination.

Tony Farkas is editor of the San Jacinto News-Times and the Trinity County News-Standard. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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