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American Exceptionalism: Why Talk of Life Abroad Can Be Triggering – s2ep8

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In this episode of the Life of a Bon Vivant podcast, Beeta discusses the nuances of patriotism and national identity, sparked by a social media post about moving to France. She reflects on the triggers that emerge when some Americans encounter content challenging their perspectives of their country, and advocates for embracing national pride while also remaining receptive to diverse viewpoints. 

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2 Comments

  1. This is a good podcast. I would also add that it is very easy to be an ex-pat in a foreign country. You can enjoy your host country’s fine points without tying into the parts you don’t like. By the same token you can denounce the parts you dislike about your home country and enjoy the parts you do like. The biggest problem I have seen with Americans either at home or abroad is the boastful vocalization of how wonderful America is and how it is so much better than any other country. World War II is actually a different story. Historical facts do indicate that the entry of the US into the war definitely turned the tide. Would it have happened without the US? Maybe, but probably not. If you go to Britain or Normandy, as a US citizen you will find that the older generation is very aware (and grateful) of our contributions to that event. I totally agree that you should be open, appreciative, and learn from other countries and cultures. I believe that all countries have their share of braggarts of paraders of patriotism. If you are a part of any online forums you know that this is not just an American trait.

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Vicki! And you’re right, you’ll see people from other countries definitely bragging about their own country and culture as well. I think, from my perspective, the reason Americans tend to stand out in the crowd when it comes to this trait is because many of the Americans who loudly exclaim America is the best and superior are the ones that have very limited (if any) travel experience outside the U.S. When you try to ask them how they can claim health care is better in the U.S., for example, they will say something like “socialist medicine sucks…you have to wait ages to see a doc” etc., almost like a script they’ve learned rather than actual facts or real life experiences.

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