I could not believe my eyes as I read the New York Times today. President Putin of Russia wrote an open letter to the American people chastising us. First, he tells us we have no right to enter the Syrian conflict (though his country is arming Assad). He blames us for instability in Iraq and Afghanistan. He tells us we have no sovereignty to make our our own decisions and must follow UN before we make any moves. Then, he tells us we aren’t exceptional.
There are so many things to react to here.
1) It is beyond embarrassing that our executive foolishly bounced around the past couple of weeks begging world leaders to join him to bomb Syria. Embarrassing. Who are we? Are we the beggars of the world? When the world doesn’t believe in the strength or leadership of the United States, we have no leadership at all.
2) Obama painted himself into a corner long before this standoff occurred. First, he chastised Bush over and over again for the war in Iraq and then now that the buck stops with him, he sees things differently. He should fly to Texas and apologize to President Bush for attacking him so often.
3) Obama has no idea what American exceptionalism is. I don’t care that Putin doesn’t know. I do care that our own President doesn’t know. Our exceptionalism is not our foreign policy, it isn’t our businesses or even our people. Putin is right that all are created equal. But, that was never what exceptionalism was about, ever. Of course, if our own President can’t articulate it, why would we expect the President of Russia to know?
American exceptionalism is about the fact that this was the first country in the history of the world to recognize that freedom is not a gift of government, but instead a gift of God. Our freedoms preexist government. Our Constitution protects our freedoms and our Declaration of Independence boldly sets the premise for what this founding was all about.
Now, how many constitutions echo our protections of freedoms across the globe? How many have used our Constitution as a template for their own?
Obama really does not get that. He doesn’t understand why the United States was such a unique creation. He doesn’t understand that because he doesn’t believe that. He wants to trample our freedoms. This is why he thinks federal mandates are no big deal. He thinks big government does not intrude on our freedom. He doesn’t understand freedom at all.
Here are some great words about this from Rush Limbaugh:
American exceptionalism has nothing to do with anything but freedom and liberty. Here is what American exceptionalism is.
So what is it? Well, if you know the history of the world… Read your Bible, read whatever historical account of humanity you hold dear, and what you’ll read about is human tyranny. You’ll read of bondage. You’ll read of slavery. The vast majority of the people, the vast majority of the human beings who have lived and breathed and walked this planet have lived under the tyranny of despots, the vast majority.
The vast majority of the people of this world since the beginning of time have never known the kind of liberty and freedom that’s taken for granted every day in this country. Most people have lived in abject fear of their leaders. Most people have lived in abject fear of whoever held power over them. Most people in the world have not had plentiful access to food and clean water. It was a major daily undertaking for most people to come up with just those two basic things.
Just surviving was the primary occupation of most people in the world. The history of the world is dictatorship, tyranny, subjugation, whatever you want to call it of populations — and then along came the United States of America. Pilgrims were the first to come here seeking freedom from all of that. They were oppressed because of their religion. They were told they had to believe in the king and his god, whatever it was, or they would be imprisoned.
They led an exodus from Europe to this country, people of the same mind-set. They simply wanted to escape the tyranny of their ordinary lives. This country was founded that way. For the first time in human history, a government and country was founded on the belief that leaders serve the population. This country was the first in history, the EXCEPTION — e-x-c-e-p-t, except. The exception to the rule is what American exceptionalism is.
It is because of this liberty and freedom that our country exists, because the founders recognized it comes from God. It’s part of the natural yearning of the human spirit. It is not granted by a government. It’s not granted by Putin. It’s not granted by Obama or any other human being. We are created with the natural yearning to be free, and it is other men and leaders throughout human history who have suppressed that and imprisoned people for seeking it.
The US is the first time in the history of the world where a government was organized with a Constitution laying out the rules, that the individual was supreme and dominant, and that is what led to the US becoming the greatest country ever because it unleashed people to be the best they could be. Nothing like it had ever happened. That’s American exceptionalism. Putin doesn’t know what it is, Obama doesn’t know what it is, and it just got trashed in the New York Times. It’s just unacceptable.