The Danger of ‘American Exceptionalism’
The siren call of American exceptionalism ends up encouraging only demagoguery.
By Michael P. Lynch | Contributor
Aug. 14, 2016, at 7:00 a.m.
Over the last month, there has been a steady drumbeat of talk about America’s “greatness” – whether it was making it great again (Donald Trump) or already being the greatest country on Earth (the Obamas and Hillary Clinton). Yet what does it really mean to say America is “great” – now or in the future? Not surprisingly, it depends whom you ask: their politics, their views on the health of the economy and so on. But differences on the meaning of “greatness” go deeper as well and often concern a single idea that is of increasing national importance: American Exceptionalism. read more