The only surprising thing, and it wasn't shocking, was the revelation that many of Iran's neighboring Muslim countries want the US or Israel to attack Iran. Makes me think that we are in danger of repeating the same mistake we made during the Cold War when we assumed that all countries calling themselves Communist were monolithically behind the Soviet Union. We know for sure that isn't the case. Why do we assume that all Muslim countries think alike? Or that all Muslims think alike? Or even that all Muslims who hate us think alike. We made a mistake (often) of making Communists our enemies even when they might have disliked the Soviets or the Chinese more than we did. I hope we don't make the same mistake with terrorism.
And this thing of American Exceptionalism is back in the news. Well, has been since the 2008 election. SOF noticed that Palin makes a point of bragging about how she believes in American Exceptionalism, and taking shots at Obama for supposedly not.
I can't help but wonder if we are talking about the same things here. Language is tricky. I really wonder if Sarah Palin brags about believing in American Exceptionalism simply because she believes that we are super good. This blog suggests that many very conservative homsechoolers see Exceptionalism as another way of saying that America is a Christian nation, or
"defined as the idea that America has a special place in God’s plan for history".
Others still see it as a critique of American arrogance, and that is certainly how I have used it in class. Indeed, as Michael Kinsley put it:
American exceptionalism—the belief that the rules of nature and humanity don’t apply to us—So when we argue about American Exceptionalism, what do we mean? I seriously have doubts now about Palin's intelligence and would not be a bit surprised if she has no idea that there is an entire intellectual world out there that talks about these things. Nor does she care.
But it does seem to me that we might benefit from at least talking about the same definition if we are going to argue for or against.