American Exceptionalism

I have seen a promo on MSNBC a number of times; I usually don’t pay a lot of attention to them. But one with Chris Matthews this evening struck a chord with me. In the promo, Matthews says that the opponents of the President claim that the President does not love American (which is not true, of course), but that the very fact that Barak Obama could be elected President of the United States is American Exceptionalism.

This is so very true, and is a powerful thing. Think of most countries, even the peaceful ones. Britain, France, Russia. Or South Africa, or Japan. There isn’t one of those countries where a person who was not in the ethnic majority has been elected to a leadership position (Peru, of all places, is the only major country I could think of, with Alberto Fujimori, who was a Peruvian of Japanese descent being elected President there).

But in America, it happened, and in a decisive way. It is a classic statement of American Exceptionalism that we can elect an ethnic minority, without bloodshed.

Now, clearly, there are those who object. Aside from the un-American attacks by conservatives on Obama (and Clinton before him), with the only objective being to attempt to de-legitimize their very Presidencies, and people who have an irrational objection to Obama, there are honest Republicans who disagree with the President on policy grounds. But none of those has gone nuts and taken up arms or anything like that.

So as I’ve said before, I am really proud of the United States for electing Barack Obama as President of the United States (and I’m proud to say I voted for the man). His election is American Exceptionalism, in a very good way.


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