American Exceptionalism

“The multiculturalism movement must be unmasked for the fraud that it is. There are superior cultures, and ours is one of them.”-Mitt Romney

A quick look at the Republican presidential candidates for 2012 will reveal a very clear theme: American Exceptionalism. Romney, Gingrich, Bachman. You’d be hard pressed to find a candidate who does not support the idea that America is objectively better than other countries.

To some degree I can understand and agree with the idea. America was founded upon certain principles of liberty, justice, equality under the law, which were revolutionary in their times. The documents which defined our country, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, reflect these principles and stand as testaments to the political wisdom of our founding fathers.

These are perhaps the best foundations for a country to have. And there are a select few great leaders that stand above their peers as integral to America’s founding, George Washington being one. The result is a government meant to respect citizens’ rights and maintain a separation of powers. Historically it is clear this has kept the United States from falling into tyranny or despotism.

All this I agree with.

Then there’s this.

Now I agree with much of Mr. Gingrich’s policies. But this belief that the American people are inherently greater than all other people unsettles me.  American citizens struggle with the same root immoralities which the people of any other nation struggle with and many other cultures do surpass us in areas such as their understanding of community or civic virtue, among others..

With that, this notion of ‘us against them’ seems to sum up all that is wrong with Washington these days. Compromise and mutual beliefs have been lost in the false idea that they cannot coexist beside strong convictions.

We ought to be hesitant to claim that we have no one else to learn from, else we really believe it and find ourselves stuck with no solutions to the problems which we cannot deny.

What do you think? Do you think this political grandstanding reflects a good understanding of our nation? Do you think our politicians themselves really believe it?

2 thoughts on “American Exceptionalism

  1. Great post, Matt. I agree with you and think this way of seeing our country is narrow-minded.

  2. In my opinion, it is the unique feature of government being the guarantor of god-given rights rather than being the institution that confer rights to its citizens should be considered the cornerstone of this exceptionalism.

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