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Eli Gottlieb

“The fantasy of American exceptionalism, planted in its citizenry with utter commercial cynicism by gun manufacturers and watered with the persuasive power of American advertising and endless lobbying, has taken root and flowered into a culture of sanctioned murder unique in all the world.” – Eli Gottlieb in The Guns That Won [at]


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  1. Ah… the “fantasy” of American Exceptionalism… If this guy doesn’t think America is exceptional, why is his ass still here?

    • It is really quite elementary.
      What would the world be like if there had been no Germany the past 100 years? Better or worse? A: Better.
      If there had been no Russia/USSR? A: Better
      If there was no China: At best neutral.

      The US is not perfect, but if there had been no USA the world would be a cesspool of tyranny. If there were no USA all or most of Europe would be run one or both of the two most despicable and murderous political systems ever invented.

      the US is exceptional. And exceptionally beneficial to the entire world.

      and it is not just the second amendment, that is part of it, but the entire bill of rights.

      • Someone said, (paraphrasing), “Americas has problems. America is not the problem.”


        ‘The New Republic’.

        ‘Nuff said…

    • This country produces about 25% of world GDP with about 5% of the people. Our economic engine drives development in almost all of he West. We put the brakes on three attempts at authoritarian/socialist rule of Europe (WW1, WW2, Communism). No other country has such a large and diverse population that resides peaceably together. No other country has citizen rights so aggressively protected in foundational law.

      We are exceptional sir. Not perfect, but the best anyone has done so far. You’re welcome to leave if dissatisfied. Just be careful with that “unapproved, dissident speech” if you do so. There aren’t many places in the world where that kind of thing is tolerated.

      • No other country has such a large and diverse population that resides (mostly) peaceably together.

        FIFY 🙂

    • >> If this guy doesn’t think America is exceptional, why is his ass still here?

      You don’t need to think that some place is exceptional to want to live there. You just need to think that it’s the best of your available options.

  2. “Like it or not, America’s struggle with guns is mostly over, and the results are in: Guns won.”
    That’s the good news.

    • And if Mr. Gottlieb truly believes that statement he has made, why doesn’t he and all of his Depends-wearing anti-gun friends just STFU? Some of us are getting a bit tired of the whining. If he wants to feeeeel safe, why doesn’t he move to a city and country with really strict gun control – like Paris, France, or Brussels, Belgium?

  3. “sanctioned murder”…yeah, I don’t see that from gun manufacturers, American advertising, or lobbying…just because you believe it to be so, doesn’t make it true.

    • …only if one considers self defense to be “sanctioned murder,” of course. And many of these gobs are so insane they’d say the same thing after standing by helpless watching their families be raped and murdered.

      Why do we even concern ourselves with what these idiots believe? They don’t actually think.

        • And a pity too – since he has resolved himself to live out his existence in a bland “unexceptional” place. You’d think his vote would be better utilized in a place more to his liking – but then again, he very well may be one of those guys that take pleasure in forcing their lifestyle on others. A “freedom from” guy. Let’s vote to oppress others. That sort.

        • You both vote, eh? Ok. Now tell me that you’ll be just fine living under what he wants to do to you if his gang “wins” that vote? No? Do you suppose he’d be happy to live under what you want him to do if your gang “wins?” No? That is the purpose of electoral politics, isn’t it? Oh, but wait! The politicians have their own ideas about what they want both of you to do… and did you even get to “vote” on any of that lately? No? Their wishes are enforced without any reference to what you OR he might want. And they are not likely to care what you want any time soon either. Think Obummercare… or all the current “gender” PC bullpucky.

          So, they want you to TRUST them, or “vote” for the lesser evil, I guess. The problem is that the lesser evil is still evil. I don’t trust any of them, and I don’t “vote” for anyone.

        • ML: If I don’t vote – that is, expend even a minimum amount of energy trying to participate in and influence the process of governance – then I don’t have any right to complain about what happens afterwards.

          • Baloney, John. No matter how you “vote” you are participating in the enslavement of others, simply because the entire political process is the endorsement of the bogus “authority” of your lords and masters to treat you like their property. No matter HOW you vote, or how often, in the long run it gives you zero control of anything, especially your own life and property.

            If you “vote,” you are consenting to be robbed, enslaved, even murdered for the sake of the “state” and those who actually control it. It’s a big club, sure, but you aren’t in it.

            I own my life, and am completely responsible for it and my safety. I don’t want or need any rulers. And I don’t bother “complaining” either.

    • An interestingly selective view of “sanctioned murder”. Considering the Soviet gulags, the Castro/Guevara Cuban slaughter, Tiananmen Square, and the Obama approved suppression of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, we have very opposite views of “sanctioned murder”.

      But then again, if you’re predisposed to totalitarianism like the quoted lifeform, I can see why you like government sanctioned murder of its own citizens for thought crimes.

      Is it time for the progressive 2 minutes of hate yet?

      • And then there is Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and every where else in the world where we sell guns, munitions and training to dictatorial and repressive “pro-American” regimes.

  4. Didn’t the idea of American Exceptionalism start in the mid-19th century… Back when everyone had the only kinds of guns all the anti’s think the 2nd A protects?

    • Wow … demanding a sense of history from a writer. What’s next, literacy? How dare you! /sarc

    • The fantasy of Social Justice, planted in its citizenry with utter Statist cynicism by tyrants and watered with the persuasive power of American media and endless lying, has taken root and will flower into a culture of sanctioned murder not unique in all the world.

      • “The fantasy of Social Justice, planted in its citizenry with utter Statist cynicism by tyrants and watered with the persuasive power of government run schools and endless lying, has taken root and will flower into a culture of sanctioned murder not unique in all the world.”

        Works just as well…

        • That’s actually better. I was trying to find somewhere to insert the government indoctrination factories, AKA public school system. But the media kind of covered the gambit of “news”, TV shows and Hollywood propaganda.

  5. For the record, I believe in American exceptionalism. I don’t think our people are exceptional today, but I believe our Constitution was conceived by exceptional people and is what makes this nation unique and exceptional.

    May it ever be thus. My fear and frustration is that today’s students are not taught this. They don’t understand what makes America different, and they certainly don’t understand why the right to keep and bear arms is a necessary part of this uniqueness.

    • Well put. Other countries may consider us to be obsessed with guns and that’s fine with me. It’s the reason we’ve had generally peaceful exchanges of power every 4 to 8 years even in the event of assassinations.

  6. Wow. It must be exhausting to go through each day so bitter and perpetually offended. That dude can harsh a fine, simple bowl of Cornflakes.

  7. Eli: Where’d your family emigrate from, and when?

    Were they seeking opportunity, freedom or outright survival? All these things are exceptional, you ungrateful wretch.

  8. The fantasy of American exceptionalism…

    If this assertion were true, Eli would have written that in German. Or, given that his name is Eli Gottlieb, he might not even have been alive to be able to write it at all.

    • Germany wasn’t defeated in either of the great wars because Americans are exceptional. The US had only a modest effect on the first, and was second to the Soviets in inflicting damage on the Reich in the second. The US would have had it’s ass handed to it if it had been located where France is.

        • Lot’s of countries were exceptional for a while. I agree with you that the US was too, and in some ways still is. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Living in Canada, France, and Mexico convinced me of that.

        • Don’t cry about revisionism when you don’t even have the facts straight.

      • Because the fact that 80% of the trucks used by the Russians were American made is completely irrelevant to the conversation?

        Please, if it wasn’t for lend-lease, Russia would have been overrun in short order. Sure, they did the bulk of the fighting, but their industrial base didn’t have the depth to build the tools necessary to fight a modern war. (Trucks, radios, etc…) All of those tools were shipped in from the US.

        • Obviously true, but didn’t require anyone exceptional to manufacture and supply war materials. Just someone with resources and unmolested factories.

        • … and a GDP greater than every Axis power combined before the war… Don’t forget that the US was doing so while holding off Japan more or less by themselves.

          If having a larger economy than all the other allies combined or all the axis powers combined does not make you exceptional, I don’t know what does.

        • Agreed, the US was exceptional in it’s industry. Japan had less than 1/7 (if I remember correctly) and Germany <1/3 of the US industrial capacity. Japan was delusional and doomed from the start.

        • What effect lend lease had on victory is, shall we say, highly debatable. There’s no denying that it was significant, but to say that USSR would have collapsed without it is just as ridiculous as saying that it was irrelevant.

          Either way, the fact that 2/3 of all Axis casualties (Japan included) happened on the Eastern Front is the most relevant figure here. The precise contribution of the supply chain to every bullet that produced a dead kraut can be debated, but most of those bullets were delivered by Soviet soldiers, like it or not.

          For the record, US is responsible for the vast majority of the remaining 1/3 (this is basically mostly Japanese casualties). Everyone else is not even close, including Brits, and were basically bailed out by US and/or USSR.

      • Granted, the Soviets did most of the heavy lifting on the ground in WWII Europe, which obviously was primarily a ground war. But without the effects of American day bombing and American lend-lease supplies, the outcome could very well have been different for the Soviets.

        • Yes, and in that case Berlin would have got a nuke. Not a warning, not a question, a nuke:-)

        • I really doubt it. If the US had maintained true neutrality in WWII, the allied powers would have folded like a Chinese laundry. Britain would have fallen during the blitz and Hitler would have been in no rush to kick off Barbarosa a year early before his next generation panzers had hit the field. Then when Barbarosa DID kick off, Russia would have been swarmed and…

        • The Battle of Brittian had already been won and Barbarossa stalled by the lend lease was making significant material contributions, no?

        • Not so much… Let’s play out the hypothetical.

          No US support during the Battle of Britain means that the improved fuel they used would not have been available. That means that the battle, which he UK won by the skin of their teeth, would have turned against them rather quickly and the UK falls in 1941. That ties up the Wehrmacht until 1942 putting down England. (Which, let’s be honest, will not be a problem for a German war machine that makes it across the channel.)

          So let’s say that the Germans invade Russia in 1942. By 1942, the next generation of Panzer 4 F2 / G tanks will begin to see full deployment (with their 75mm guns more than capable of dealing with Soviet KV1s and T34s) and Tigers become far more common all across the front. That means that the Soviets will be far less capable of stalling the German advance to Moscow and (best case) still get creamed in the spring 1943 offensives as they will have no external source of resupply over the winter and have to deal with more or less every soldier and tank Germany can scrape together. That means that by 1943, Germany controls more or less the entirety of the Soviet Union west of the Ural mountains and the remaining Soviet government has no choice but to sue for peace.

          Similarly, the Italian campaigns in North Africa should go far smoother with the British Isles knocked out of the war and the US never entering it. While Japan is not really motivated to attack the US in 1942 due to the US’ neutral stance preventing it from interference in the Asia-Pacific theater.

          What happens after that is anybody’s guess, but my money is not on the US getting involved. It would need to wage a cross-Atlantic campaign with no forward operational bases against the full might of the Wehrmacht not being tied up on the Russian front.

        • Everybody talks of the Soviets doing the heavy lifting in ww2. Which to some extent is true. And lend lease enabled this, to some extent.

          But what people tend to miss is that the battles for Russian were fought in the western side of the soviet union. Where Russian grows its food. Grain fields that had panzers tracking thru them and russians burning them to keep the bounty from the germans.

          Had it not been for exceptional American farmers and food producers backed by an exceptional industrial base the soviet union would have starved to death before they got to do any lifting.

        • I am dubious of the likelihood of any scenario in which the US does not sell high octane gas to the Brits. That required only a profit motive, something that was not in short supply. Britain also had plenty of tankers.

        • Selling that fuel would violate US neutrality as it constitutes providing war materiel to a belligerent.

      • We had 2 real and not modest affects on ww1. France and England both would likely have been starved out of the war if not for American food stuffs.

        And at just the right moment when England, France and Germany were out of manpower the Americans came in with a large supply of fresh troops.

        World War has a meaning. No one country does it all. But one country, an exceptional country, can make a big difference.

  9. Exceptionalism is not unique to the US. Japan, China, and Scotland (or maybe just Mike Myers playing a Scotsman;-) also come to mind when I hear that word.

    • Your funny A.P.M. China, Japan and Scotland are like the rest of the world that exists in the darkness of the disarmament of their subjects by their governments. We are exceptional in that, except for Switzerland, in many states the keeping and bearing of firearms is a constitutional right that does not require a permit or license to practice.

      We have nine states now where the OC or CC of a firearm in which there is no license or permit needed and in my state of NM, I can OC a firearm with no permit required and like most other states, we have Shall Issue of CC licenses.

      So yes, A.P.M, we are exceptional in that we can KABA; the symbol of all free people in all of history, with the least amount of restriction, to no restriction at all; unlike the over 6 billion subjects and virtual slaves existing in abject disarmed servitude to their masters in government.

      • Uh, exceptionalism is not the same word as exceptional, they have different meanings too;-) Those other countries believe they are exceptional (one definition of exceptionalism), and the US is exceptional (in it’s self-defense rights).

        • Sure APM. Every person in their own country think they are exceptional, and the best. That is human nature. So of course I believe that we in America are exceptional, and the best. But we actually are exceptional, and the best, and most people in the world agree. Just look at how many people risk thier lives, their honor and their fortunes in trying to get to this country.

          Also, of course, the progressives are doing their best to destroy the very things that have made this country exceptional and bring us down to the hell hole norm of disarmed enslaved poverty stricken servitude that is the rest of the world.

        • You’ll get no argument from me about which country is the best to live in. I just hope it stays that way or even improves.

  10. As Vince Lombardi used to say, ‘Strive for perfection, settle for excellence.’ If you don’t believe that you’re exceptional, you won’t be. The first step in success is believing in yourself. The first step in national exceptionalism is believing in yourself and your countrymen.

    I can only assume that his claim about ‘sanctioned murder’ was a reference to Fast and Furious?

  11. Yes America is exceptional. We have more freedom, unobstructed life’s, government direct-less opportunities, the ability to rise and forcefully say “we wont put up with it” then any other “modern democracy on earth. So yah we are awesome.

    Also in other news, Eli sounds like a scared little twat that wouldn’t have survived in the world our founders created and to him I offer a big middle finger and a permanent plane ticket anywhere else in the world so he can quit whining. Or if he feels so strongly against guns I propose he be the one that tries to round them up. I’m sure someone will oblige his point he’d love to make at their doorstep.

  12. It’s exceptional that progs like him live in this country and every day fail to see what has made/makes America exceptional. Also how when he proclaims contracts allowed “gun czars” to ignore moral questions regarding the use of their firearms, which as always ignores personal accountability at the individual level. We don’t hold Scott’s accountable for fertilizer bombs; manufacturers of hypodermic needles are not responsible for creating junkies.

  13. Oh yeah, and you didn’t build that. Speaking of that I hate the amfam commercials and will never buy insurance from those Obama sycophants!

  14. Delusional dolts like Gottlieb believe in a fantasy world where firearms are the root of all evil despite troves of evidence to the contrary.
    “A quick but necessary tour of the numbers would read as follows: 36 Americans currently killed by guns each day…”
    And here again is the exact problem he describes:
    “Below the steady cycle of gun-driven agony and outrage lies our peculiarly dissonant national conversation on the subject—a standoff between opponents lacking even the most minimal common language, whose debate, if that’s the right word, is filled with shopworn tropes hurled by each side at the other that add up to a single, vast, self-canceling din”

    Now that’s an awful lot of fancy words to describe the real problem. One side lives in a fantasy world and blames inanimate objects. How can we possibly have any intelligent debate with a group of people who have no grasp on reality?

  15. Going to Google a quick search of “murder” comes up with the defenition of:

    “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.”

    This by its very nature is contradictory to the idea of lawful self defense.

    This is an awesome quote too:

    “We became a gun culture,” she writes illuminatingly, “not because the gun was symbolically intrinsic to Americans, or special to our identity or because the gun was something exceptional to our culture, but precisely because it was not.” In the early years, guns were seen as simple implements, like garden rakes or axes. Made often by moonlighting blacksmiths, there was no special mystique attached to them, and no laws regulated their sale. One colonial gunmaker, a certain George McGunnigle, advertised he also made “locks, keys, hinges of all sorts, pipe tomahawks, scalping knives … razors, scissors, and pen knives.”

    Don’t forget WHO made it where guns weren’t simple implements but rather something that needed to be defended.

    As a bonus my favorite caption:

    “The hollow-point bullet, popular with police in the United States, is banned from use in war under international law.”

    This makes me laugh as we have someone talking about firearms who either doesn’t understand them or is relying on swaying opinions of others who don’t understand them.

  16. Exceptionalism
    1. the condition of being exceptional; uniqueness.
    2. the study of the unique and exceptional.
    3. a theory that a nation, region, or political system is exceptional and does not conform to the norm.

    The USA is unique and does not conform to the norm. We, from our very founding, are free citizens. All other countries are based upon their populace being subjects. No finer words have ever been penned to illustrate this concept:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

    • I don’t think that is what people mean when they refer to national exceptionalism. Most people never read the dictionary. I suspect they mean “better”. By the dictionary definition every country is exceptional. The US’s founding principles were and still are unique and better. Our population on the other hand has not been as much, especially lately.

      • I grew up in the cess pool of all that is politically correct A.P.M. in the Bay Area on the west coast. I had my head pumped full of the self-hate and loathing of my country and the shame of being an American. The flying of an American flag was looked at with horror and contempt by those of the progressive left.

        I came to my senses when I moved away from that pit of vipers and found my American pride, the second amendment and the Christ, in the Land of Enchantment, in that desert paradise called New Mexico.

        So I have absolutely no problem saying now, with a great deal of pride, thank G-d I’m an American, the greatest country in the world. The only danger to my country is not from some barbaric dark age religion of mass murder as imagined in fevered dreams of some desert “prophet” named Muhammad. The only danger to our country is the “politically Correct” cult of self-loathing and worship of the state as god that is intent on “fundumentally changing” our country into a totalitarian police state where an individual is nothing but a non-entity subsumed in the hive mind of some “collective good” determined by the “intellectual elite”.

  17. How inconvenient for some people to have to live in reality instead of the utopian fantasy they’ve dreamed up.

    Guns exist for a reason. They are tools that serve an important purpose. Freedom isn’t free and it is force of action that protects life and our freedoms on the battlefield and the city streets, not flowery words or high-minded ideas.

    People need to wake up and realize what kind of world this actually is.

  18. Hyperbole really is the only acceptable frosting for a cake of lie.

    “sanctioned murder”…really? Wow! Impressive.

  19. If America is not exceptional, why would 15m+ cross the border illegal. Why would they leave more exceptional countries to come to the USA which this person believes is less than exceptional. Hey, many had to cross Mexico to get to our borders, they were free to stay any place in-between. Why would till this day Cubans risk death to get a foot on our shores. For all those who do not believe the USA is exceptional, please leave to another country that they believe is exceptional over the USA.

    I never understood people who live here and hate the USA so much but refuse to leave.

    And “sanctioned murder”…hyperbole much. This what you get when all you have is emotions without facts.

    • And as I never cease to remind folks, they were also the home of the “Baghdad Diarist”, making up stories out of thin air about how the bestial US troops were running about Iraq killing beloved family pets with Bradleys and drinking out of the skulls of Iraqi children (no, I’m not making that up, they made that up).

  20. America is, quite clearly, exceptional. Even our current President admits that as a component of his platform.
    It was defended against the most powerful empire in that era’s world, built from a foundation of basic human rights, born in compromise but with a commitment to limited power. Never before and never again have “we the people” been afforded more protections against tyranny.
    In fewer than 200 years, it amassed a cultural legacy arguably as rich as that of any single nation in Europe, and at the same time became the world’s foremost economic and military superpower.
    America was the test case for democracy- it was, and perhaps remains, the world’s innovator.

  21. Why do 99% of American Jews hate themselves so much? I don’t understand it.


    A gun-toting, conservative-voting Jew

  22. America is a very exceptional country. I would be glad for Eli to pack up and to any other country. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Lord Split ya.

  23. The reality of American exceptionalism, planted in its citizenry with love of God and humility by scholars and philosophers and watered with the blood of patriots and warriors and endless sacrifices, has taken root and flowered into a culture of Constitutional liberty unique in all the world.

  24. Hidden from prying eyes at the end of a dirt road outside of town is a lesser-known attraction: an illegal shooting range.

    So a gun range outside of town down some dirt road is illegal why? I think that would be a better discussion than Gottlieb’s whiny spiel.

    word, is filled with shopworn tropes hurled by each side at the other that add up to a single, vast, self-canceling din. In the meantime, the firearms—and their side effects—keep coming.

    The side effect of firearms???? Or the side effect of immoral uneducated people/criminals performing grossly unethical actions (with guns – or without)?? I have a lot of guns Gottlieb, I know people who have a lot of guns. None of us are having a problem with the so called “side effects” to which you are referring. Maybe you have your causes and effects possibly misplaced???

    The fantasy of American exceptionalism, planted in its citizenry with utter commercial cynicism by gun manufacturers and watered with the persuasive power of American advertising and endless lobbying, has taken root and flowered into a culture of sanctioned murder unique in all the world.” – Eli Gottlieb in The Guns That Won

    Typical Marxist logic. Freedom = bad. Personal responsibility = bad. Free choice = bad. More laws = good. Offsetting personal responsibility by trying to eliminate free choice with laws = good.

    Murder is and has always been illegal.

  25. Dear Mr. Gottlieb,

    The people of the gun are sorry that you find it so distasteful to live in an exceptional country. We understand,however, that not everyone is exceptional or cut out to live among exceptional people. To remedy your feelings of inferiority, we suggest that you move to a less exceptional or truly unexceptional country. There are many countries in the world that offer people like you higher taxes, fewer rights, and heavier restrictions on gun ownership. If you would kindly select one and make the appropriate arrangements to immigrate, many of us would be willing to help you pack.

    Your Exceptional Bretheren

  26. Move? And ruin his American lifestyle, noway. He is going to bitch until he gets America just like he wants it.

  27. Anybody who thinks widespread civilian gun ownership has anything to do with state-sanctioned murder ought to spend a little time looking into the Soviet gulags.

    Or Chinese news reports of “firefights” between police and terrorists where dozens of “terrorists” are killed and zero captured alive.

    Or the NYPD’s latest “oopsie”.

  28. I would have agreed with the concept of American Exceptional-ism up until a few years ago. Obama has done his best to make sure we are now a second rate country. He has fouled up the military strength, the economy, foreign affairs, put more people on welfare, etc. etc. etc.

    The successes that Trump and Cruz are seeing in the race for GOP candidate are a reflection of the silent majority’s dissatisfaction with our government. Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” is spot on. If either Trump or Cruz can make it in, we might have a chance of regaining American Exceptional-ism. (That assumes the GOP elite do not screw things up.)

  29. Oh, good god.

    First, the game is to define “exceptionalism” and “American” in some twisted way, then refute the BS definition. It’s the inverse form of a “motte and bailey argument.(*) The gun control folks would get a lot more traction if they weren’t so blatant about their Motte and Bailey strategy.

    So, “The fantasy” he’s talking about is made up (a “straw man”) to be refuted. Rhetorically, always look for the palmed card. In this case, this guy is palming a card by defining the terms in which “exceptionalism” is defined, then making his crappy case for and against.

    Using different criteria… the US is the longest-standing constitutional republic, a world-dominating economy for generations, more a melting pot than … well, name someplace better at it, etc. etc. The US is less exceptional than it used to be in some ways because other folks are catching up. The fact of the existence of the US has provided hundreds of millions of people with the opportunity, often realized, to make better lives than they would have had otherwise, including me, winning the lottery of birth by being born here, back to the four streams of immigration that led to my grandparents, all better off because there was a US, than otherwise.

    I am not even going to bother to fisk this guy’s specific nonsense.

    He is vaguely right, that every country is exceptional in its own way (An assertion made in a famous public speech that got a lot of press not too long ago.) This is a particularly underhanded version of a Motte and Bailey argument – are they “exceptional” in ways worth being better? Pol Pot’s Cambodia was exceptional in genocide as a fraction of the population. If you measure it right, you can get them ahead of the 20-th century political genocides in the Soviet Union or China. I’m excluding pre-modern competitions between civilizations which made little distinction between diplomacy, warfare, and genocide – removing the other guys and taking all their stuff was the point. In either case, this is an exceptional club not much worth aspiring to, I think.

    Indeed everybody is exceptional in their own way. See this, at 3:35

    (*) “Motte and Bailey Argument” is an analogy to Motte and Bailey defensive architecture. In use the “Bailey” is claimed, but under opposition, you retreat to the much more defensible “Motte.” When the opposition passes you move out of the Motte to reclaim the Bailey.

    “Motte and Bailey Argument” is more like a rhetorical technique than a formal argument. You make some large, outlandish claim, like “All guns are gad, and citizens shouldn’t have any.” Under pushback, you retreat to something smaller, and much more defensible: “But, what about terrorists?” When the opposition passes, you reclaim the larger territory.

    The best takedown I’ve seen of this rhetorical cheat is, unfortunately, in terms of taking down “post-modernist” philosophies. You don’t have to agree with the author’s position, to understand the rhetorical move he’s describing. Anybody can do it, and many do.

    The gun control folks would get a lot more traction if they weren’t so blatant about their Motte and Bailey strategy. Nobody trusts them. No, you can’t have an inch, because you’ll just use that as a base to take it all. If anybody thought they were honest brokers, they’d do a lot better.

    So, dissing “American Exceptionalism” is almost always a “Motte and Bailey Argument” in reverse. Define the exceptionalism you claim as something huge and indefensible. Dispute that. Then claim none of it is true, because some of the made up stuff isn’t. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  30. Because of flying lead, the author, Ed Gottlieb, is free to write whatever he wants without being arrested.

  31. has taken root and flowered into a culture of sanctioned murder unique in all the world.”
    At first, I thought he was complaining about the USA intervening in foreign countries.

  32. “The fantasy of American exceptionalism, planted in its citizenry with utter commercial cynicism by gun manufacturers and watered with the persuasive power of American advertising and endless lobbying, has taken root and flowered…
    The USA throughout most of its history has been fairly exceptional and sucked a lot less than most other countries out there.
    Most of us in the USA are descended out of countries that are great to be FROM.
    The only countries other than the USA that has any remote appeal to me are maybe Canada, Switzerland, and Austria.

  33. The irony here is that people who love to talk about American exceptionalism are at the forefront of destroying it, by shilling for things that the Founders explicitly warned against: a standing army, global military adventurism, and wholesale destruction of civil liberties for the war on X.

    • Slippery slope.
      More government adventures does not make America exceptional, and actually makes America more like other countries.

  34. One of the reasons this nation is exceptional is because we have the guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, and not just for sport. It’s specifically so we have the ability to resist the government if it becomes tyrannical. No other nation has that. I’d say it’s pretty exceptional…

    I’m sure Eli will trot out the old shopworn argument of “Well, the government has tanks, drones, and bombers…”

    Yeah they do, and if they start using those tanks, drones, and bombers on US soil, Eli will wish he had a gun so he could help with a resistance effort. By nature, those heavy weapons are inaccurate enough to cause unwanted collateral damage, especially in built-up areas. You send a tank down a street after some rebels, you’re gonna tear up the street, screw up people’s property (most of whom aren’t involved) and kill more than just the rebels. Civilian deaths in war result in an insurgency. We’ve been dealing with one for awhile now overseas…

    Thus, if a tyrannical government wants to keep some semblance of civility, it has to engage partisans one-on-one. Which means guys with rifles and pistols versus guys with rifles and pistols.

    My money is on the people. There’s more of us, especially versus a diminished military due to defections.

  35. Funny coincidence – just this morning my friend from Europe said that it looks like pretty soon we will all have chips implanted and become totally controlled by governments. He believes that people will gradually lose last remains of freedom as there is more and more laws, restrictions and generally control everywhere.

    I opposed, claiming that even if it passes elsewhere else, freedom loving Americans will not stand for it. That America was founded and built by strong, self relying individuals and is truly exceptional. I told him that the real Americans will fight such tyrannical fate with their arms if necessary.

    This is what I believe and it is mainly for this special quality I chose this exceptional country as my home.

  36. What the Forking Hell is an Eli Gottlieb, and why does he think he knows every damn thing??? My best guess is that he’s another liberal dipshit who wants to boss people around.

    My considered reply to his comment is: “Fork You!”. You don’t know a GD thing, so quit your preaching and go back to selling your cheap-ass widgets (or whatever useless thing it is that you do)!

    Don’t quit your day job, boy’o.


  37. In an exceptional nation this self hating guilty white reform jewish man can write for a money losing magazine and put out his hatred for America.
    Freedom is a great thing.

    • Also Russia is lucky the industrial might of the exceptional USA saved them. I don’t expect to get a thank you from any Russian.
      They are too embarrassed because they were allies with Adolf Hitler. The Russians murdered the entire Polish army officer corps in the Kaytn Forrest.

      • >Russia is lucky the industrial might of the exceptional USA saved them

        Citation needed, evidence required, etc. How exactly did the trickle of supplies doing to Arctic ports used in later offensive operations “save” the USSR in the early defensive battles?

        And as I recall, it was Hitler who broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, therefore the USSR was the aggrieved party. But don’t let actual historical facts get in the way of your BS.

        By the way, will we ever hear an exceptional American thank Putin for cleaning up the mess left by the US government in Syria?

        • In early defensive battles Red army got their asses kicked pretty badly (for several reasons) and Wehrmacht advaced so fast that their supply lines couldn’t keep up.

        • None of those reasons being the lack of American materiel. The exceptional American seems to have a terrible memory of history.

        • The fact that Russians and other eastern block people like you are here now is all the citation I need. Ha,ha.
          Your lack of education about military logistics and what keeps a battle going speaks volumes about you.

          The slave labor used to keep the Siberia railroad open for all that cargo coming from the U boat free west coast of the United States helped the Russians a great deal. Also supplies coming in from Iran helped as well. That is why the British put down the Arab revolts in the middle east during WW2. The Russians needed a safe route to get supplies.

          The PQ 17 convoy routes were a disaster.

        • I almost forgot. There are many exceptional Americans who are very great full for the Russians cleaning up the mess created by the Obama administration in Syria. One of them is Donald Trump.

        • Note how you state in a single post your supposed expertise on supplies and logistics, then claim that it was American submarines going to Siberia that kept the Soviets in the fight. The hilarity, it is too much.

          Also, your designation of Trump as an ‘exceptional American’ is also quite hilarious.

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