Recently, I heard on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show a statement that american hubris is a serious problem for America. Her guest, Godfrey Hodgson, had recently written a book entitled “The Myth of American Exceptionalism” where he explains that the U.S. is not as exceptional as it often believes. As Mr. Hodgson was being interviewed by Ms. Rehm, the word “hubris,” as applied to America, was discussed with some detail.
I don’t know about you, but the word hubris is not a word that I use regularly. According to my dictionary, hubris is excessive pride or self-confidence, arrogance. Well, I do agree that often times when listening/watching certain radio and television shows, usually the ones that are considered conservative, there does seem to be a “bit too much” pride or self-confidence expressed. Perhaps one general example of such “hubris” is when a politician says “God Bless America.” Though on the surface, there is nothing wrong with that for those who believe in God, it is often stated in a media that will be offered to the world. Wouldn’t it be better to at least say, “God Bless America AND the Rest of the World?”
Another statement that is often said is, “America has the best …”, where you can fill in the … with almost anything. Examples are “best education”, “best health care”, “best military”, “best life-style”, etc. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we have the best educational system. On almost all measuring instruments our educational system, especially when you consider education before college, is not the best. I really don’t believe our health care system is best when we have so many without healthcare insurance. And the list goes on and on and on….
What do you think?