Twice we elected a president who thinks America isn’t exceptional at all. He mocked those of us who believe that when he said in 2009: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” He was twice elected by a majority who don’t think America is anything special either, who seem ashamed that, although their country has done more good than any other, it hasn’t done so perfectly. My fellow baby boomers who run America’s institutions seem to believe human perfection is attainable this side of the grave. They’re utopians. They don’t understand the tragic vision - that the world will always be less than perfect, but people have the liberty to pursue happiness - and whether they succeed or fail is up to them.
They’re perpetual adolescents too. We humans fortunate enough to have been raised in a nuclear family - with a mother and father who loved each other - tended to worship our parents at least until we were teenagers. Then we noticed they weren’t perfect. For a while, their flaws magnified until they were all we could see. During this period we thought we were much smarter than they were, and when we grew up we would do everything much better than they did. That’s the nature of adolescence. But we’re supposed to grow out of it by 25 or so after we’ve been humbled by our own mistakes, the ones we make all by ourselves - the ones we cannot blame on anyone else.
went overseas apologizing for his country, saying: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. … Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”
Phil Robertson dared utter them last week, they were called “vile” and “lies.” Baby boomers and their offspring are doing this.
The president who epitomizes adolescent narcissism has nearly doubled our national debt, encourages the Federal Reserve to print trillions more dollars with nothing to back them up, violates constitutional limits on presidential power almost weekly, and is destroying the best health-care system in the world. What are the rest of us doing about it? Virtually nothing. Most of us stand by meekly and watch him do it.