This news item -- "Despite popularity among GOP candidates, American Exceptionalism on the decline" -- in today's Washington Post registered with me as actual news; that is, it far surpassed in authentic newsworthiness the boneheaded plays made by GOP presidential candidates, the absurd ill workings of Congress, and all the routinely reported, misguided worries about America's intolerable debt, versus America's intolerable unemployment.
From the story:
A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that fewer than half of Americans now believe that American culture is superior to the rest of the world.
Just 49 percent of Americans agree with the statement that, while Americans themselves "aren’t perfect, our culture is superior."
That’s down from 60 percent in 2002 and 55 percent in 2007, and it’s only slightly higher than in Germany (47 percent) and Spain (44 percent).
In other words, just about the only thing that is exceptional about us today is that we so abruptly stopped believing ourselves to be exceptional.
The rather brief chronological span, noted above, within which our self-faith declined is remarkable -- it was that of the Age of Exceptionalists: unexceptional boors who tortured detainees, much like the rest of the boorish world; unexceptional warmongers who converted belligerence into a national religion, much like some of our past foes; unexceptional profligates who squandered our resources, much like the profligates of (other) banana republics ...
One could go on, yet the irony would not deepen. Nor would its sadness.