Campfire Blog

On American Exceptionalism

A simple yet crucial idea

CNN is running a series of stories on our belief in American Exceptionlism. The second part of the series discusses some of the many statistical areas in which America has slipped relative to other countries:

In the opening scene of the new Aaron Sorkin show, “The Newsroom,” a news anchor goes on a tirade when asked why “America is the greatest country in the world.”

“It’s not the greatest country in the world,” he fumes. “We’re seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, No. 4 in labor force, and No. 4 in exports. … So when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the (beep) you’re talking about.”CNN

All of that certainly may be true. I’m not really sure. But what I am sure of is that no one is going to watch that show.

America bashers love to quote those kinds of things. Big Government apologists say we need to spend as much time on math as China or Japan and tax as much as all of Europe.

But what these kinds of people have never been able to grasp, is that Exceptionalism is not based on the speed at which our middle schoolers solve binomial equations, but rather the freedoms protected by our Constitution and described in our Declaration. It is immeasurable, indefinable, intangible.

And I will guarantee, if left to our own devices, without the interference of the Barack Obama/Aaron Sorkin Big Government crowd, the American people will surge back to the top of every measurable list.


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