While 80 percent of Americans think that America "has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world," more than a third say President Obama does not share that belief, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Dec. 10-12.
Gallup's poll on the concept often referred to as "U.S. exceptionalism" found that Americans rank Obama significantly below three other modern presidents in terms of whether Obama subscribes to the idea.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed believe he does regard America as exceptional while 37 percent say he doesn't. Three-quarters of Americans or more say that Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush believed in U.S. exceptionalism."His worldview is dramatically different than any president, Republican or Democrat, we've had," Huckabee told Politico last August. "He grew up more as a globalist than an American. To deny American exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation."
Or, from the same piece, this?
As far as the political significance of this subject, Karen Tumulty wrote last month in the Washington Post that "with Republicans and tea party activists accusing President Obama and the Democrats of turning the country toward socialism, the idea that the United States is inherently superior to the world's other nations has become the battle cry from a new front in the ongoing culture wars. Lately, it seems to be on the lips of just about every Republican who is giving any thought to running for president in 2012."
One thing, clearly, is that it's the latest attempt of the RWS™ to hit President Obama over the head with a bag of tea. But really, what the heck is "American Exceptionalism," and what do we do with it?
No country can be great if its citizens are unwilling to pay for it. No country will remain great if it neglects the health and education of those citizens who lack lobbyists. The tax cuts may have assured the President's reelection, but they also ensure America will grow more separate and unequal, not unlike the proverbial banana republics. As a result the U.S. will slowly slip from the leader of the First World to an honorary member of the Third, unless Americans stop believing their exceptionalism stems only from their virtue and requires no sacrifice. [Emphasis mine truly]
There's surpassing irony in the fact that the people who swing "exceptionalism" like pudenda in nude volleyball are the same ones whose policies will be the end of it, if it ever was. Beating their collective chests with one hand, with the other they're taking away the very things that have made us great: investment in education, pushing forward the boundaries of science, opening our doors to immigrants, building railroads and highways, tunnels and bridges. It's enough to prance and pose: God forbid we were to pay for anything anymore; to pitch in with more than words; to think of others.