Defining American Exceptionalism On July 4, 2012July 4th, 2012 12:39 am Joe Conason
That is why ordinary citizens are now so infuriated by SuperPACs — and so suspicious of Romney’s Wall Street career and his Swiss and Cayman Island accounts. There is nothing exceptional about the political influence of dubiously acquired wealth, which is now commonplace across the world, from China to Russia to Mexico to Washington, D.C.
How is American exceptionalism defined today? It would be hard to find a more potent example of what marks this country as truly great, even now, after the myriad abuses and errors of the past, than the ascent of Barack Obama to the White House. Out of a partisan (and sometimes racial) myopia that has very little to do with the president’s actual flaws, the Republican right is largely unable to concede that simple fact. Instead, its activists and leaders remain preoccupied with demonstrating Obama’s illegitimacy, by slanders about his birth and ideology, for the office that he attained.
If America remains exceptional on this Independence Day, it is thanks to the president and the hopeful citizens who elected him – and very much despite his partisan adversaries, those most pious, most misguided exponents of American exceptionalism.