“Not normal.” It has been the cause du jour ever since the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President. But the more we here at Rabid Exceptionalism thought about it, the more we wondered what has been normal about the past 40 years in the US. Over that time an advanced, wealthy country has increasingly come apart at the seams. We’re at a point today where the term “mass shooting” is commonplace. More than half of the country feels lonely. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. People –predominately people of color – are routinely gunned down by police. Forty-one million Americans don’t have enough money to feed themselves. Almost 70 percent of the country is taking prescription drugs. Health care is unreachable for millions. Deaths of despair in the form of suicides and overdoses have reached epidemic levels leading to a decline in the country’s life expectancy.
Why have other wealthy countries not encountered the same types of problems? Something truly exceptional is going on in the shining city upon a hill.
We at Rabid Exceptionalism are operating on the hypothesis that the US has entered some strange, tragic late stage of unfettered capitalism or neoliberalism, and we’re witnessing exceptional decay that has never happened in a developed country. We aim to gather daily examples of these unique American pathogens in one place, connect the strands, and explore options for cures. Please join us.
About Conchobar Keefe
- Writer, reader, administrator, and all-around literary presence. Also a lover of hounds. Worked as a journalist in the US, China, Italy, and Turkey. Has also toiled at a book factory, UPS, grocery stores, restaurants, a country club, and as a new-age serf in the “gig economy.” Does not have health insurance; has plenty of student loan debt.