So those arrogant uncompromising Republicans were at it even back in 1856! To think that we could have had a nice tidy compromise on slavery with those more sophisticated Democrats! Could a Republican even get away with writing something like this? The Democrats were the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and a "nothing special America". Religion? I don't think so -- LIMITED GOVERNMENT !!! That is what made America exceptional -- and the loss of that is what has been killing America.
The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.
Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter. And yet clearly America must change fundamentally or continue to decline. It could begin by junking a phase that reeks of arrogance and discourages compromise. American exceptionalism ought to be called American narcissism. We look perfect only to ourselves.