Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Liberals and American Exceptionalism

What’s So Great About America | The Weekly Standard

One of the areas that conservatives have a hard time communicating with liberals on is American exceptionalism.  My view on "why" is that the conservative vision is pretty much "One nation, under GOD, bequeathed by our founders and creator with a unique and superior position (broad fertile landmass between two oceans), superior people (self selected to be risk takers, willing to put independence and opportunity beyond safety and relative comfort), and superior government (designed to be LIMITED, not able to infringe on the people -- including allow them to bear arms as a final check against such infringement).

My view is that as we have moved away from the pioneer / emigrant ethos and into the misconception that "progress" (largely technical) somehow equates to "wisdom", we have lost our way, with BO being proof -- a PRESIDENT that no longer believes that America is any more exceptional than say "England or Greece".

Good column, read it all, I found this to be the core.
First, the idea of American exceptionalism has the benefit of being true. The United States is fundamentally and demonstrably different from other countries. It is bound together by a founding proposition, and properly applied the proposition has brought freedom and prosperity to more people, and more kinds of people, than any other. Second, a large majority of Americans believe American exceptionalism to be true. And third, it drives Democrats right around the bend.

It’s not clear why. Maybe liberal polemicists don’t quite understand what the phrase means, and so they pummel it into a caricature. In Politico last week, under the oddly truncated headline “U.S. Is Not Greatest Country Ever,” the columnist Michael Kinsley wrote that exceptionalism is “the theory that Americans are better than everybody else.” The next day, on a well-trafficked liberal website, another columnist said much the same thing—they tend to run in packs, these guys. Other countries, this columnist wrote, are “investing in infrastructure,” unlike the United States, which apparently just spent $780 billion in stimulus on chopped liver. At the same time, he went on, “the Republicans have taken refuge in an antigovernment ideology premised on the lunatic notion that America is the only truly free and successful country in the world.”

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