From this essay at Family Security Matters:
Most Americans believe in “American Exceptionalism,” even when they have never heard the term. This means that the history of the United States is unlike that of most of the world; we have neither hereditary nobility, king or dictator, nor a state-supported ethnic or religious identity.Read the rest HERE.
One becomes American by birth or by choice (immigrants)—with identical rights. Our constitution is very much alive—changing as conditions in our world change, providing an adaptability very rare in the world. These factors, including two oceans to separate us from the old worlds of Europe and Asia, have kept us unusually safe. We also had a vast continent to settle and a homestead program that provided land ownership to those willing to work for it.
But of late, the term “American Exceptionalism” has been questioned by some who believe that America is not exceptional at all—and that those who think it is are right-wing political bigots. They remind us that our history included slavery, imperialism, the dreadful mistreatment of our Native Americans, and ask how that jibes with “exceptionalism.”
Even President Obama, when asked if he believes in American exceptionalism said yes, just as the French and British believe in their own exceptionalism. And this remark raised the hackles of those who believe that with all our flaws, we have managed to be exceptional in almost every way—including the constant effort to admit and correct our shortcomings.
A fascinating book has just come out that jumps into this fray: Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution, by professor Toby E. Huff. This book answers the most basic question: why has the West (Western Europe and its American and Australian offspring) dominated the world for the past four centuries while the other great civilizations declined?...
American exceptionalism should be an integral part of our culture and, indeed, used to be. After all, that exceptionalism is one of the best aspects of our American heritage. We must stop the Left from co-opting the term and using it in a manner that amounts to treason.