The term American Exceptionalism means many things to many people. To some, it represents imperialism; a world under the oppressive thumb of the United States. To others, like President Obama, it represents national pride. “I believe in American exceptionalism,” said President Obama, “Just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
I disagree with both. America is not just another land grabbing world power going through its dominant phase like Rome or Napoleon’s First French Empire. Nor is America just a mere swab of land bordered by two oceans. It’s an idea. An idea built on the basic value of human freedom and personal liberty borne in the spilled blood of revolutionaries. Revolutionaries that escaped the greatest problem mankind has ever brought to bear on himself: tyranny.
When compared to the backdrop of world history, the United States of America is still in its infancy. However, on the subject of personal freedoms and human liberty there is no other entity in history that is older and with more experience than our Great Union. The United States is both the igniter and keeper of the Flame of Liberty.
We are exceptional because in a history of Crowns and tyranny, dictators and oppression, we are the exception.