Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rod Dreher on American exceptionalism

Rod Dreher » Is Obama ashamed of America?: "American exceptionalism is so deep within our national psyche, and has been since the beginning, that it will never be eliminated. James Kurth was correct to say that the realist tradition in American foreign policy “is not only rarely in America, it is un-American.” (N.B., Kurth, a conservative, is by no means saying that’s a good thing; read his brilliant essay/speech on the role a secularized Protestantism has played in shaping American foreign policy.) If we believe that we, as Americans, have been especially blessed, and have a special responsibility among the nations to be a light, then I agree. But that too often expresses itself not as humility — as holding ourselves to a higher standard, and striving to live by it — but rather as arrogance: believing that we are a kind of chosen people, and that that status gives us the right and even the obligation to impose ourselves on the rest of the world, and to think of ourselves as doing them a favor.

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