Exceptionalism: a good rant
Exceptionalism of the sort she describes is a self-feeding monster. Look no further than at how Ann Althouse can pitch a fit at Jessica’s nerve having breasts like she had a right or something and then flip around and whine that she’s the subject of sexist attacks. You see, sexist attacks are for those unterwomen, but Ann’s an uberwoman, an honorary man, really, so it’s uncouth to use sexist attacks on her. Exceptionalism is a worldview that is disturbingly impervious to reason, which is why you have abortion clinic workers reporting that when they have anti-choicers come in for abortions, they want special rights to use the backdoor or not have to sit in the lobby with those dirty abortion-having women while they wait to have abortions. Exceptionalism is what makes a lot of Americans bemoan the injustice of 9/11 in one breath and support the injustice of the Iraq War in the next. Exceptionalism is what allows right wing Israelis and their supporters to invoke the Holocaust when arguing for Israel’s right to kill and oppress. You take its persistent existence and couple it with its utter lack of logic and it’s hard not to wonder if exceptionalism is built into our genes, a trick of the brain that overrides reason.
It makes right wing politics possible, really. If you had to admit that you believe openly that might makes right to be a conservative, then the number of admitted conservatives would probably hover at no more than 10% of the population most the time. But exceptionalism is that worldview that makes it easier to sleep at night, because you believe you deserve your spot on top of others, because you are just so damn special.