Is American Exceptionalism Dying?

American Exceptionalism?

Where on Earth did that term come from?

(Pause for the Google machine to engage)

It was first used 150 years ago by a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville (“There is something about Americans that is exceptional”)…..

I too have written about this situation several times as well…..

https://lobotero.com/2015/03/06/the-real-american-exceptionalism-the-unz-review/

https://lobotero.com/2016/06/09/he-doesnt-believe-in-american-exceptionalism/

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/28/american-exceptionalism-and-the-beat-goes-on/

As a teacher I get to read grad students papers and I found a recent one interesting about the term American Exceptionalism…..

The romantic notion of American exceptionalism undermines the effectiveness of US foreign policy, and clinging to this outdated notion harms specific areas of international cooperation. It should by now be clear that we aren’t special, and if we run foreign policy on deluded notions and poorly-earned arrogance it will only cause harm to those forming useful coalitions and partnerships. For example, on climate change, hubris will make a new administration focus on shaming other countries, when a show of some level of stability and making real changes domestically would go a long way towards real leadership.

Alexis de Tocqueville coined the term for the U.S. over 150 years ago (“The position of the Americans is…quite exceptional”). In a much less oft quoted sentence in that same paragraph, de Tocqueville goes on to say, “Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit…seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts…” And yet this notion lingers, not only in political language and symbols, but at the core of foreign policy formulation

Opinion – Eulogy for American Exceptionalism

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