Please submit your entries for this contest to fabmaximus at hotmail.com! We have a clear winner for last week:
“READER BRENT KILPATRICK WRITES: “After watching the U.S. 4-man bobsled team win Gold for the first time in 62 years I had a thought. Since President Obama seems embarrassed by ‘American exceptionalism’ do you think he would have preferred a Bronze?”
— Posted by Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, 27 February 2010
The President’s answer gave a sensible perspective, words appropriate for the leader of a great nation (The question was also apt — by an European journalist, of course):
Ed Luce (Financial Times): Thank you, Mr. President. In the context of all the multilateral activity that’s been going on this week — the G20, here at NATO — and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, to work through multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don’t think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.
And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.
Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.
And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.
— Source: blog of Time magazine, 4 April 2009
Standards have slipped so much, even agitprop is not what it used to be. Our forefathers would despair to see what even A-team bloggers write as political smears (as an attorney and professor, Reynolds should be held to even higher standards). Compare this to a classic from our past, about Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate son (whom he acknowledged and financially supported):
“Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?
Gone to the White House. Ha, ha, ha.”