He Doesn’t Believe in “American Exceptionalism”

American Exceptionalism is a term that many Americans grasp eagerly……I have written a couple of times on the subject in the past…….most heartily embraced by the Right as a leading characteristic of their neocon movement….

But to refresh your memory about those that I posted….




Those were a few presses with my on-going commentary…..

Most Americans have no idea where the term originated…..was it just always so or was there a point where it became the “in term”?

American Exceptionalism was widely used during the administration of Woodrow Wilson……

Wilson’s idealism was firmly grounded in the belief that the United States was a nation set apart by its values and principles from the rest of the world. He believed strongly that the “force of America is the force of moral principle” and that the “idea of America is to serve humanity.” Long before he became president, Wilson wrote of his conviction that the United States had a “plain destiny [to] serve [rather than] subdue the world.” Later, as president, he would contend that this destiny to serve was the only possible motivation for American actions in the world. Wilson held that “morality not expediency” must be the guiding principle of all American policy. He applied this principle to the use of American military force. As Frederick Calhoun argues, Wilson “showed no aversion to fighting if the end justified the means.” As Wilson stated, he believed that while other nations used force “for the oppression of mankind and their own aggrandizement,” the United States would use force only “for the elevation of the spirit of the human race.”

(You may thank me for the historical perspective by sending a donation to your local humane society)

Not many people were thrilled when I disputed the term….and now it seems that Trump is not a big fan of the term either…..will be interesting to see if the Right will buck him on this……

“I don’t think it’s a very nice term.

2012, the Republican Party was so hot to hype its love of “American exceptionalism” that it devoted one of the party platform’s seven sections to this notion. In this document, the GOP proclaimed that it embraced “American exceptionalism—the conviction that our country holds a unique place in human history.” But with Donald Trump now the Republicans’ presumptive presidential nominee, the party may have to delete this doctrine from the platform it will be constructing at its upcoming convention in Cleveland, because Trump has explicitly declared that he does not believe in American exceptionalism.

Source: Donald Trump Says He Doesn’t Believe in “American Exceptionalism” | Mother Jones

I cannot wait to see if there is any blow back….or if the Right wimps out and just rides along on the coattails of Trump….my guess is that they will just ignore it and keep fondling the Trump ego.

What do you think the outcome will be?

27 thoughts on “He Doesn’t Believe in “American Exceptionalism”

  1. While the words used by Woodrow to describe his beliefs is quite reasonable, the execution of said beliefs has been spotty, at best. It’s clear that the motivation behind all our meddling world-wide has NOTHING to do with service, unless it is self-service. It’s easy to talk about morality; being moral is an entirely different matter.

    Chaos theory, as Lady P. points out, its real, and much more believable than any sort of exceptional moral sense in the US government. It simply isn’t there; this nation’s morality went down the drain with the very first legal decision giving corporations ‘personhood’, back in the mid-nineteenth century. Woodrow may have thought, as President, his ideas would be carried out, but, he was simply another tool of corporate influence, allowed to spout off because such ideas feed into the illusions the world is kept in line by believing….

    The only exceptional quality in our government is its exceptional ability to lie without shame to achieve its ends, which have nothing to do with service, or justice, or anything but profit.

    gigoid, the dubious

  2. America has not been so “Exceptional” as She has been lucky enough to have determined people with inventive minds and stubborn dispositions. I believe that if the term, “Exceptionalism” is applied to America it surely must be applied in the vein that America is exceptional in Her willingness to reach out a hand to help others and get little more than hateful slogans and flag burning in return for Her generosity. We need to disenfranchise some of the scummy little nations that suck off our paps by refusing to give them another damned dime in foreign aid until they can show some return on our investment.

      1. The answer to the question is what I said: If we are exceptional it is in that we are chumps trying to take care of the needs of the rest of the world while more or less neglecting our own.

      2. I do not believe that was what was meant in the beginning of the worship of said term…but I agree the money is needed here….

    1. How bitter you are and how little you know about what others think about Americans. Making a critical opinion about the US into they are hating us.
      Being critical on certain isssues and respecting in others is no contradiction. American Exceptionalism is to indulge yourself in your perception of what you think you are. Not what you really are.
      If a nation think that it is exceptional, there is no need to be self-reflective. To see what you can learn from others.
      You are above the rules.

      Furthermore it is very rude to say the least to other countries. I am Dutch and it annoys me everytime an American politician, businessman, or citizen proclames to be exceptional.

      The state of mind it endorses in Americans is often a base where people from other nations have problems with.

      In another forum I often a discussion about AE and almost everytime Americans sooner or later wrote:If it weren’t for us you would speak German. Ungreatful and having no right to give my opinion.

      So little Americans know about what people actualle think in the world. What American media in general show Americans is a world full of people not to be trusted, ungreatfull and un-American therefore to be feared.

      Seventy years later I met the grandson of Maj.Gen. John B. Anderson personally.
      His grandson mr. Scott van Ness, as a guest of honour, was recieved during the commemmoration and celebration of the liberation of Roermond, my hometown, by US Army March 1st 1945

      (There is a mistake when Scott van Ness is mentioned as the grandson of Vincent van Henke.)

    2. Sorry to go all “Word Police” on you but…

      Aid is NOT investment…unless you mean it in the “investing in goodwill” sense.

      1. I hear getting sex in return is pretty popular in certain aid-worker circles. Does that make the aid less “charitable”? How about if I said the food aid lessens US commodity surpluses that pull down the price US farmers receive for their crops and may also reduce demand for farm subsidies?

        Is there any way I can convince you to feel good about the good America is doing in the world?

  3. To be perfectly frank . . I don’t care what others think about Americans. I know we are the breadbasket of the world and there are few countries out there who do not owe us a lot … sometimes their very existence. I am American and proud of the fact.

    1. Of course you don’t care what others think….you’re an American! That’s usually the most reliable way of telling who is an American. 🙂 (Hmm. “Why do they hate us?” again.)

      As for “breadbasket of the world”…..And granted, the numbers swing wildly from year to year, but suck my wheat shaft!…


      The only real surprise on the list is Australia. It must have rained a couple times last year.

      1. I know America is really great at exporting weapons…even to its enemies…which is really generous when you come to think of it. Shit, you guys even let Canuckistan build some of the weapons you export to your enemies. 🙂


        I’m such a fucking asshole. But kidding aside, the list of US exports is…not what it used to be. And that’s a serious problem for you. (Canada too.)

  4. Other than the egos & belt-lines of its populace, about the only thing “exceptional” about America anymore that isn’t fading is its military. And who knows how long that’s going to last with all the wars of Empire it’s involved in.

    But by all means….keep being “exceptional”. Keep that Empire chugging along. Keep picking up that White Man’s Burden.


  5. O yes, you are interested in what the world thinks of the USA. Every answer you give is underlining your opinion that others should be grateful.
    The, USA, in your opinion, is seemingly the only one that gives and others just take.
    That they have the audacity to criticize, in your perception it is all hating.

    I showed you in my last answer deep and heartfelt gratitude towards Americans.
    And what do you do?
    Brushing it of as if it is of no interest to you!

    I won’t let you get away with this insulting and disrespecting attitude towards all that took and have take care of Americans in WWII, be it in life or death.

    My parents were young adults during WWII and like so many others their gratitude towards the allies liberating the Netherlands is real.
    Since WWII 71 years have past but the gratitude is still strong and still passed on from one generation to another.

    Gratitude however doesn’t mean we have to be blind for the actions of the US that are not becoming a country boasting itself to be the best..

    1. Canada appreciates your continuing appreciation of what we did all those years ago. The annual parades, the beautiful tulips in Ottawa…Actually, you guys remember our contribution better than Canada does! But those that do remember say “You’re welcome.”

      1. In a way Canada is rather modest in its role in liberating the Netherlands.Your don’t boast, it seams sometimes we Dutch have to remind you how important you were and still are for us.
        I hope that Canadians realize what a special place you have in Dutch history and in Dutch hearts.

        The part of the Netherlands I live, Province Limburg (South-East of the country) was liberated by mainly Americans.

      2. Unlike our neighbours to the South, about the only thing Canadians boast about is our hockey and our Medicare system…developed largely to treat hockey related injuries (39% of all hospital visits).

        But seriously, we’re so awash with American culture, Canadians have virtually NO concept of our own history & culture anymore.

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