How to save American exceptionalism

We can start by recognizing what is truly unique about America's place in global affairs

Franklin's Cartoon
(Image credit: (CORBIS))

Can the notion of American exceptionalism be saved? President Obama's commencement address at West Point, billed as a major foreign policy address, was widely panned for being platitudinous and for overusing the convention of casting himself as the sensible moderate amid raving extremisms. But the president was right about one thing. If America is an exceptional nation, it's not because of war.

"American influence is always stronger when we lead by example," Obama said. "We cannot exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everyone else."

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