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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Obama Exceptionalism

During his first term, Obama seemed resolutely opposed to supporting the concept of "American exceptionalism."   Did anyone else find it strange that, he then said in his second inaugural address:

What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

It seems almost as if he believes it but, before his last election, he did not want to sound jingoistic.


  1. I suspect that prior to the election Obama did not want to sound overly patriotic because there is a significant portion of his domestic base that considers being “jingoistic” as either quaint or dangerous or both.

    I suspect that when Obama declines to support American exceptionalism (AE) in a foreign venue he is pandering for support on a world stage.

    I believe that American exceptionalism is self evident to us (US) and the word and denial is silly. That does not mean that AE can or should be used as rationale for poor behavior toward the rest of the world.

    Obama has declined to support AE since beginning his campaign in 2007. I must conclude the denial is strategic. Since the inaugural address was scripted and vetted I think (at least for the moment) that his apparent support for (or at least acknowledgement of) AE was intentional and strategic.

    The appearance of apparent support for AE at this point is striking. I cannot divine why the support would appear at this point.

    p.s. thanks for the new word

  2. I firmly agree with your statement: That does not mean that AE can or should be used as rationale for poor behavior toward the rest of the world. I also stress that my belief in AE is not of the "we were ordained by God to lead the world type". It is much more earthly based. More on this later.