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Reported death of American exceptionalism is false
Anybody who lived and worked in other countries can fail to be struck by it: Americans are, above all, striving. Sloth is as antithetical to the national character as irony. Americans work incredibly hard, and they take play so seriously it comical. They acquisitive and competitive, but they also friendly, as well as amazingly open to interaction with other people and to joint endeavors in business and with neighbors. With strangers, they both welcoming and demanding (which the British find especially odd). They detest incompetence and won settle for mediocrity. They pragmatic they believe in what works yet they reluctant to compromise. They venerate innovators and risk takers. They see failure as a temporary setback. They expect to rely on themselves and ask the same of others. They don think the world owes them a living.
Live somewhere else for a while, then tell me you think those traits are universal.
It an excellent article and I think correct on many points. In a rejoinder, Peter Berkowitz rightly takes Beinart to task for blaming the Republican Party for this convergence to the norm a dubious claim, but inessential to Beinart main thesis. The changes Beinart describes are real. is gradually becoming a more secular country. Its ability and desire to project power around the globe (not the same thing as patriotism, but let that pass) are diminishing. As for economic mobility, it isn so much that America advantage is declining as that the country wasn exceptional to begin with.
In an essay this week for the National Journal, Peter Beinart announced End of American Exceptionalism. It isn quite over yet, he argued, but it on the way out. is becoming more ordinary. He says there every reason to expect this trend to continue.
The abiding source of American exceptionalism, I submit, is the American character. This is a difficult thing to quantify, hence easily dismissed, but not everything that matters can be measured.
goes a long way to explain America extraordinary economic success. The same goes for the country political institutions themselves a result of the underlying culture. I not the first to notice that American culture is communitarian and individualist at the same time. There a kind of reverence for popular sovereignty and the institutions that express it, including the Constitution and the flag, but this is combined with suspicion of government. On the one hand, the people. On the other, tread on me. The result, by the standards of other advanced economies, is a bound on the size and scope of the state.
Judged Under Armour Curry 3zero Team Royal/White by any of these metrics, America is fated to be less exceptional with time. The question is how much these metrics Red Under Armour Shoes Women's
matter. Despite mostly agreeing with Beinart about the trends he examines, and even thinking he understates the case in some respects, I don see the wellspring of American exceptionalism failing in the foreseeable future.
I understand why many people are sick of the subject. is different is trivial. Every country is different. And the claim of exceptional status shades easily into arrogance and chauvinism.
it would be easy to bolster Beinart case. I add that the country sense of itself as exceptional rests partly on sheer economic might. Without that, the question of what to do with its overwhelming military power wouldn arise. Convergence is in train here, too. will most likely retain its lead in per capita incomes, but it can expect to remain the world biggest economy or preeminent military power.
All these are things I admire. The same character traits produce other equally distinctive results: needlessly vituperative politics; a zeal for incarceration; legalism carried to the point of insanity I could go on. But I here because I admire this country and its people, and I admire them because they different very different. The cultural roots, I certain, go deep. I be surprised if America doesn stay very different for a long, long time.
For insights into American exceptionalism, it good to talk to an immigrant. I happen to be one. at random as the place I wanted to live and work: I here because I think America is not just different but better. citizen, the country virtues vastly outweigh its failings, large though some of those failings may be.
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