I’m not sure about the political/emotional issues involved as I don’t live in the US, but I’d think that by most modern metrics (GDP, Military Readiness, Infant Mortality, Average Income etc.) that America would have to rank at the top. It certainly isn’t number 1 in every category for sure, ie. some Scandinavian countries very likely beat it on certain metrics, but if you were to average it out and weight it for population I’d think it’s still the primary Superpower.
That said, it certainly seems to be facing some stiff competition, if not from other nations then from regional blocs.
And I highly doubt Obama doesn’t feel similarly. Humility is not a vice.
Note that the “debate” isn’t about whether the US actually is exceptional, but rather whether the Prez chants “USA! USA! USA!” enough to appease the ghost of St. Ronnie. Because the people pushing this would never think to question whether the US is number #1 in the first place … and wouldn’t believe the facts if someone told them.
(Hint: We’re not actually #1 at much except total GDP, military spending, morbid obesity, and complacency about how awesome we are. Norway has higher per capita GDP than us, a whole bunch of countries have higher household income, most of the OECD lives longer, all of Western Europe has lower infant mortality, Canada has a higher percentage of college graduates, etc. etc. etc.)
My problem with American exceptionalism is not based on whether they are number one or not. Because I am certain that when other countries such as China and India gradually surpass the US in these sectors, the idea of exceptionnalism will remain. Because a large portion of americans believe that the US is actually a gift from God and that He is what makes it all great.
Obama probably has a lot of internal pressure to be more rah-rah-rah usa usa, and I admire his pragmatism.
[QUOTE=squirrel;2507902]I’m not sure about the political/emotional issues involved as I don’t live in the US, but I’d think that by most modern metrics (GDP, Military Readiness, Infant Mortality, Average Income etc.) that America would have to rank at the top. [QUOTE]
Guess which one of the above doesn’t belong? It’s hard, at times, to avoid the suspicion that America’s become a classic imperial state, but with a startling degree of denial about this fact.
Ya… turns out that I’m one of the vast majority who actually has good healthcare. So I’m cool with that.
I know that lots of folks out there seem to think that we just throw our sick onto big pyres and burn them, but the horror stories you hear about our healthcare system? Those stories really aren’t the NORM.