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Is America Exceptional?

We’re the shining city on the hill and the last best hope of Earth. Or are we?

 

Is America responsible for leading the Earth’s way to worldwide liberty and democracy? Or are we following a path of decline already well-traveled by nations older and wiser than we?

How you answer those questions probably says a lot about your political beliefs.

Alexis de Tocqueville first called America “exceptional” in its pursuit of commercialism and practical matters versus “science, literature, and the arts” in 1831’s Democracy in America. Jay Lovestone, the Communist leader from the late 1920s, noted America’s resistance to Communist revolution because of our strong capitalist mindset and natural resources, which Joseph Stalin refuted as “the heresy of American exceptionalism” ̶ ironically, the first time the phrase was used.

Although the idea that America is unique among nations in its global responsibilities has been embraced by both sides of the aisle, President Barack Obama observed that while Americans believe they are exceptional, so did other once-dominant nations such as Britain and Greece; thus, the delicate unwinding of a nation’s hubris begun by its leader.

He isn’t totally wrong: America has a history of expansionism and hypocrisy to contend with, and it isn’t pretty. In the Philppines at the turn of the century, in World War II, in Vietnam, in Nicaragua, in Iraq and Afghanistan, American forces have killed civilians, sometimes accidentally, sometimes not. And we are neither better nor the more popular for it.

Once upon a time on the campaign trail, President Obama promised that hostility against America would ease on his first day in office. He set out on a worldwide near-apology tour where he promised enraptured crowds that, if elected, his administration would treat the world with more respect ̶provided they respected us in return.

Yet just this past week the world watched as a strong wave of anti-American sentiment spread quickly across the Middle East as well as Australia, Africa and Europe, resulting in the death of our Libyan ambassador and staff. Rumors persist that the Libyan government warned the administration about the attack in advance, although U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice stated that the protests resulted from an Internet video that disparaged the Islamic prophet Mohammed, apparently made by an American.

Unfortunately, it seems that our policy of appeasement has resulted in little more than violence and threats. It’s also resulted in visible frustration on the part of our closest Middle Eastern ally and friend in democracy, Israel. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested a meeting with Obama to discuss the worsening situation in Iran, which apparently is attempting to enrich uranium, a key ingredient in nuclear weaponry.

Obama denied the request. Who is on the calendar instead? None other than Muslim Brotherhood leader and newly-elected Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, who supports amending Egypt’s Constitution so it more closely resembles the Koran and Sharia law.

Of course, Obama has plenty of time to make an appearance on David Letterman and attend a reelection fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce.

A point of fact: the Anti-Defamation League identifies the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, as do many political observers. The Council on Foreign Relations referred to the Brotherhood as a stepping stone to membership in militant terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Hamas, and many dangerous terrorists are former Brotherhood members.

Although the U.S. State Department won’t classify the organization as a terrorist group, Obama won’t confirm that Egypt is a current U.S. ally, calling their relationship a “work in progress,” despite a decades-old treaty stating otherwise. And while it appears Morsi was elected fairly, foreign relations watchers can only purse their collective lips at what the Arab Spring will mean for Israel, and America.

Former Egyptian President (dictator) Hosni Mubarak at least stuck to the terms of the old peace treaty and kept a distance -- albeit a cold one -- from Israel. With the new leadership in place, and a potential alliance between the Brotherhood and Iran forming, one can only wonder how long that delicate peace will last.

Will our imperfect exceptionalism keep us shining on the hill? 

Ipso Facto September 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Cliff -- Stop this nonsense immediately. Linking to an article from a slimer like Corsi who is a proven liar and charlaten is wasting the time of everyone who goes to the Patch for relevant information. Even Alper wouldn't stoop this low. So cut out this nonsense or I promise you I will follow each and every one of your silly comments and call you out.
Ipso Facto September 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Cliff -- No I am having a great day...except for having to police your idiotic posts. I really wish you would stop it with the loony nonsense.
Cliff Cuming September 21, 2012 at 07:21 PM
How Is The Obama Administration Gutting Welfare Reform? The controversy over the Obama Administration’s gutting of welfare reform continues to grow. Two new government reports show the move’s illegality and effects on taxpayers. And the House of Representatives is set to vote today to approve or disapprove Health and Human Services’ (HHS) rewriting of the 1996 law (even Clinton was coerced to underplay the illegality at the convention)
MAC September 24, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Electing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, "America's Comeback Team," is our only hope for returning the U.S. to Prosperity, and restoring the American "Exceptionalism" that Obama has nearly destroyed. If you are not fully aware of the existential Muslim threat to our survival, please watch "The Project," a two-day documentary on this, on TheBlazetv.com (free 2 week memb. available) or on Dish Network channel 212, starting Wednesday. Obama's assessments of democracy coming out of middle eastern riots are as deluded as Woodrow Wilson's support of the Russian Revolution which brought Communist dictators into power! Obama apologizes to and courts favor with despots and dictators, as vividly illustrated when he caressed the knee of Medvedev while overheard telling him "I'll have more flexibility after the Election." The reply was "I'll transmit to Vladimir [Putin]." Anyone who has been deceived about Obama and wants the Truth, and to know "why is President Obama hell-bent on seeing America fail?" could start by watching the movie "2016: Obama’s America" http://www.2016themovie.com/theaters/ Don't delay, though. It was playing at about 20 CT theaters, down to a dozen now. If given a second term, Obama will completely destroy our democratic (representative) Republic and any semblance of the great and unique nation given to us by the Founders!
Cliff Cuming September 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM
US releases all 2 million prisoners and ferries them to Mideast. Each given an AK 47 and rations for 1 week. Told they can keep whatever the want. Infidels lose, convert to Mormonism. Franklin Wong named CFO of new United Mormon Republic. Introduces new currency: wampum. Socialists like what they see, emigrate to UMR. US budget balanced. Chicago becomes home to new Taiwanese colony repopulating former socialist city with avowed capitalists. Russia, China, India begin 30 year war and decimate each other after buying 116 trillion dollars worth of US weapons. Paul Ryan the third reelectd to second term.

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