New York Times on September 18, 2013, published an op-ed by Danielle Pletka on the importance of American world leadership. Excerpts below:
Barack Obama famously said that he believes in “American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Like Vladimir Putin, who recently gave his own two rubles on the topic, Obama seems to believe that “all nations are equal.” Of course, that isn’t so. America has a democracy; Russia does not.
Over 70 years, U.S. leadership has lifted millions from poverty and tyranny, while allowing for trade and innovation, and encouraging peace.
None of the recent clamor over exceptionalism has shed much light on the question of why Americans believe theirs is a special nation. Sadly, there is no concise way to answer this. It isn’t easy to explain why Americans fly flags everywhere; give so generously to charity; believe so fervently in freedom; fight so many wars on foreign soil; love guns; or work so hard. Perhaps the founding ethics of the country have trickled down. More likely it is that self-reliance, dogged independence and willingness to fight for the downtrodden are among the things that draw so many to these shores.
Many (with a few notable exceptions), upon reflection, quietly miss the leadership of the United States on the global stage. Over 70 years, that leadership has meant a global compact that has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty and tyranny, that has freed trade and innovation and meant that far from fighting wars, most nations have chosen to live in peace.
…the reality is that there is no nation and no people exceptional enough to do it for so long, or so well, or with so little regard to their own aggrandizement or enrichment.
Danielle Pletka is the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.