The video below (thanks to Neo-neocon) is the stuff of nightmares for liberals and everybody to their left -- not just a prominent right-wing talk radio figure in full cry, but Sarah Palin, of all people, by his side, nodding in agreement. That last touch may be needlessly cruel, I'll admit, but I wanted to put the video here for three reasons: first, because it's such a good example of the sort of powerful political rhetoric that conservatives in the US are able to mount that even those who disagree with it should hear it; second, because it's exactly right about the contrast between two putative sources of good in the world, the US and the UN, with the latter coming across, finally, as a very naked emperor; and third, because it makes an important mistake about so-called American exceptionalism, which I'll get to after the video (you won't have to view it to understand the mistake):
Prager brings up a somewhat questionable Obama quote about that notion of exceptionalism (quoted recently by Krauthammer too): "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." But, Prager says, the Greeks don't believe in Greek exceptionalism, and by implication neither do any other citizens regarding their own nations. Which I think is wrong, in a significant way. I'm sure many Greeks, at least, as well as Brits, etc., do indeed think that there's something exceptional, at least in the sense of distinctive, not just about their country but about their ethnicity. The point, however, about the idea of American exceptionalism is that it's not some simple, crass expression of patriotism, but rather a serious historical observation -- that America is a nation not founded upon ethnicity but rather upon a political vision, a vision that has famously been labelled "the last, best hope of earth".