lewrockwell.com / By Edward Lozansky and Jim Jatras, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture / October 28, 2016
Perhaps one of the most used and abused political expressions in recent years has been that of “American exceptionalism.” Politicians and commentators routinely invoke it as a high principle and accuse their opponents of insufficient devotion to it, or contrariwise blame it for all the ills of the world.
For example, in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin ruffled many Americans’ feathers:
“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. . . . We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”
Hillary Clinton weighed in on exceptionalism in an August speech before the American Legion, in which she also took a swipe at Donald Trump:
The United States is an exceptional nation. . . . But, in fact, my opponent in this race has said very clearly that he thinks American exceptionalism is insulting to the rest of the world. In fact, when Vladimir Putin, of all people, criticized American exceptionalism, my opponent agreed with him, saying, and I quote, ‘if you’re in Russia, you don’t want to hear that America is exceptional.’ Well maybe you don’t want to hear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
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