President Obama has made it clear that his worldview rejects American exceptionalism. Exceptionalism is hard to define precisely. It first appeared when John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, said "we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill." Ronald Reagan then expanded on this thought and called us "a shining city on a hill." Alexis de Toqueville, the French commentator of the 19th century, said in his famous book, Democracy in America: "The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one."
When Obama made his first presidential trip to Europe in 2009, someone said: "He sounds just like a European." That's right, he does. But we don't want our President to sound like a European. Obama said, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Well, there are 191 other United Nations members and if they all believe they are exceptional, that's certainly not what we mean by American exceptionalism. We are not just another country on the list of UN members.
Obama did not grow up breathing America. He grew up in Indonesia, and when he did move to the United States, it was to Hawaii, which had become an American state only two years earlier. Hawaii was not a typical American state.
Our Constitution, which has survived for more than two centuries, the longest lasting constitution in the world, is very different from the constitutions even of other democratic countries. The European constitutions are primarily statements of what government MUST do FOR them, in other words they are a list of entitlements. But the U.S. Constitution is a recitation of what government canNOT do TO us. That's the difference that guarantees us our freedom.
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