The Dangers of American Exceptionalism

I was trying to briefly convey the point at dinner last night that America needs to get over it’s pride and come to terms with the reality that as a country we are no longer on the ascendancy. Our time in the barrel has passed. Granted, we’ve been in this position pretty much since World War II, but prior to that were very much just another country on the map. We seem to have forgotten that. And we seem to feel that if we aren’t on top, then we’re nothing. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that not being the rising star suddenly means you’re a global embarrassment. We had our day in the sun. For awhile at least, it will be China and India’s turn, much as it was England and France’s turn before us. We even have the opportunity to make it our turn again. But that requires work we’re not yet prepared to do because we can’t yet cope with the reality of our current position.

In a fit of good timing, Roger Cohen makes much the same point in this morning’s paper. It’s time to get over ourselves already.

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