A quiz to help you find out
With almost 200 nations around the world, telling which is The Exceptional One is really not a very easy task. Every country has a number of unique aspects that mark it out from the others, but not every one has what it really takes to be the Exceptional, much less the Indispensable nation. Only a country possessing a certain set of characteristics can be considered for this prestigious accolade, and it is with this in mind that the following test has been designed. Answer the nine questions below to see if your country is truly The Exceptional One.
1. The country is about to elect a new leader. The choice is between:
a) Candidates that, whilst disagreeing, are respectful and able to engage in civilised discourse with one another
b) An egotistical narcissist who causes normal people to hold their breath when he opens his mouth in anticipation that he’s about to say something rude, abusive or just plain stupid, and a pathological liar who loves war, hates the unborn, and who cackles hysterically when she hears of a man being brutally tortured to death
2. During the rallies and the debates before the election, the crowds and audiences are characterised by:
a) Their willingness to listen with quietness, patience and a commendable level of intelligence
b) A constant tendency to interrupt with whooping and hollering, booing anyone who says things they don’t like, and chanting of the name of the country over and over again, just in case they forget where they live
3. The country’s fiscal situation could be said to be characterised by:
a) A responsible management of resources, with the Government making an effort to balance the books and keep spending under control
b) Government debt so monstrously large, you’d have to drain the Atlantic in order to find a hole big enough to fit that much money in
4. Hackers break into the servers of one of the main political parties in the country, revealing a deep level of corruption. The response of the media is:
a) To do what journalists are supposed to do, which is to investigate and publish details of the corruption, ask serious and challenging questions about what has happened, and to hold to account those responsible
b) To launch into a propaganda frenzy in which the corruption story is completely buried, and the finger of blame pointed towards the Government of another country, despite the complete absence of evidence implicating them in it
5. The foreign policy of the country’s Government can be summed up as:
a) Seeking to build good relations with as many nations as possible, treating them with respect, and seeking mutually beneficial trade together
b) Arm twisting nations into doing their bidding, regime changing those that don’t respond well to having their arms twisted, and invading or bombing nations under the banner of “nation building”, only to walk away from the smoking ruins a few years later, before going on to repeat the exercise elsewhere
6. Military spending in the country is:
a) Adequate – enough to support its armed forces, navy and air force to defend the country in case of attack
b) Enough to sustain hundreds of military bases around the world, and most importantly to prop up an economy that depends on continual warfare in order to prevent it crashing through the floor
7. A black teenager is killed by the police. The community responds by:
a) Calmly waiting for the facts to emerge, and if there are sufficient grounds to suspect that it was an unlawful killing, hoping that the accused will get a free and fair trial
b) Immediately polarising into two camps, one supporting the law enforcement agencies whatever they do, the other claiming that the death was obviously down to institutional racism, followed by nights of mass rioting and looting
8. The actions of the country’s Government are increasingly insane. They say they are fighting terrorists, whilst they are actually arming and funding terrorists to fight proxy wars. But even worse, they are deliberately taking the nation into confrontation with a country armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. Is the reaction of the majority of the country’s population:
a) Increasing alarm! Most people realise that the Government is out of control, run by criminally insane people who belong in an asylum, and who need to be stopped before they lead us all into World War III
b) When’s the next ball game?
9. A well known Christian pastor with conservative views on abortion, marriage and the family is due to give a speech at a university. The attitude of many students on the campus is:
a) That’s okay. We may not agree with him, but we believe in free speech and he has the right to speak to those who want to hear him
b) To start yelling or crying or both, complaining that he has hurt their feelings, demanding a safe space, and shouting him down in the meeting with words like intolerant, bigot and hater
A nation scoring mostly “A”
Nations such as this just don’t have what it takes to be Exceptional. They may have a few nice traditions that mark them out from other nations, and may even be very nice people. But Exceptional? Get out of here!
A nation scoring all “B”
This is more like it. Having two scary maniacs running for the leadership of the country, a deep state that is determined to go on funding endless wars, even if it means taking us into World War III, and a student population that is increasingly unable to listen to opposing views without launching into hissy fits and “phobic” name-calling is indeed the sign of Exceptionalism. However, the accolade comes with a warning: God has a habit of waiting until Exceptional nations are at the apex of their hubris and arrogance, before bringing them down to take their place in the cemetery filled with “Indispensable” nations.