|
|
The Lake News Online
A blog 'for independent minds'
American exceptionalism?
email print
About this blog
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
X
Political Views
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
Recent Posts
June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.
June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.
June 15, 2014 5:10 p.m.
June 13, 2014 5:10 p.m.
June 13, 2014 5:10 p.m.
By Rick Holmes
Sept. 14, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Barack Obama, Sept. 10:



When, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.


Vladimir Putin, NYT oped:



It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.


What is American exceptionalism in the conduct of foreign affairs? Is it an entitlement to write our own rules? An obligation to act when other nations fail to do what must be done?  A class by ourselves because of our virtue, our democratic roots, our wealth or military might?

The concept of American exceptionalism is often credited to de Tocqueville, who described how special Americans are in 1839, mostly because we were a new nation, made up of immigrants. But since then, many nations have been born and settled by immigrants: Australia, Canada, Latin America. Are they exceptional too?

What do you think? Is American exceptionalism a vague excuse for patriotic vanity, or is it a concept that is historically and intellectually defensible?

 

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National