Monday, September 5, 2016

No Longer Exceptional (what is American Exceptionalism all about)

Ben Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton

Instapundit: Fundamentally Transformed: Richard Fernandez: Is America No Longer Exceptional?


There is some confusion about what American Exceptionalism is. Some, Donald Trump included, assume it to be an arrogance on the part of the United States. While that arrogance has been true in the past, it is not really what American Exeptionalism is about.


Richard Fernandez explains it quite well in his essay. The United States was unique in defusing power between competing "factions" which avoided (at least for a while) the failures of other democratic experiments.
Democracies, Madison wrote in Federalist 10, the most widely read and cited of the essays, “have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” Why? A mot often attributed to Benjamin Franklin explains it in an image. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” ... 
The biggest threat to “popular” governments, he wrote in Federalist 10, are “factions,” interest groups whose operations are “adverse to the rights of other citizens” or the “permanent…interests of the community.” Factions are thus not accidental. They are—famous phrase—“sown in the nature of man.” Why? Because freedom and the unequal distribution of talent inevitably yield an unequal distribution of property, the “most common and durable source of faction.” ...
Hillary Clinton has mouthed approval of American Exceptionalism, while her actions through the Clinton Foundation show the only thing she supports is Hillary Clinton's exceptionalism. Clinton is trying to drive a wedge between Republicans and Trump on this issue, but Clinton corruption and crony capitalism was exactly the sort of thing Madison and Hamilton were trying to stop. If anyone is out to wreck and destroy American Exceptionalism, it is the Clintons. 

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