Perilous Exceptionalism

Former US Secretary of State Condoleeza RiceOn Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at the 2012 Republican National Convention Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice took the podium and delivered a rousing speech that brought the crowd to their feet and kept them there throughout her oration.

Her focus on the incredible opportunities America presents and the extraordinary goodness of America was a stark contrast to Obama’s normal complaints about the country and its people.

It was an awesome speech and you can read a transcript of it here. One statement in it, however, stood out and still stands out in my mind, and it’s likely not the point that Ms. Rice would want anyone to focus upon as her speech was largely positive in nature.

Whenever you find yourself doubting us just think of all the times that we have made the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect.

Ms. Rice spoke a great truth in that simple sentence. Yet, in it she has described the truly perilous exceptionalism of America. We are exceptional and we, as a unified people, have made made the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect. That can cut both ways though.

It has always seemed impossible to normal Americans that our country could sink into a entitlement state. Yet, in retrospect, it seems to have been inevitable. It has always seemed impossible to normal Americans that our country could become a semi-totalitarian nanny state. Yet, in retrospect, it seems have been inevitable. It has always seemed impossible to normal Americans that our societal morality could degenerate so far and in so many ways as it has. Yet, in retrospect, it seems to have been inevitable.

This is why America’s exceptionalism is so perilous. We as a people are so powerful and so dynamic that the seemingly impossible is made commonplace and this has fostered a complacency that may well doom us because we fail to understand that it can happen here.

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