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Stalin Invented ‘American Exceptionalism’
Posted By Editor On March 21, 2012 @ 7:17 pm In Guest column | Comments Disabled
By Richard Cohen
“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in 1903 — and I will not quibble. But the problem of the 21st century is the problem of culture, not just the infamous “culture of poverty” but what I would call the culture of smugness. The emblem of this culture is the term “American exceptionalism.” It has been adopted by the right to mean that America, alone among the nations, is beloved of God. Maybe so, but on some days it’s hard to tell.
The term “American exceptionalism” has been invoked by Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and, of course, Sarah Palin. I would throw in Michele Bachmann, since if she has not said it yet, she soon will because she says almost anything. She is no exception to the cult of American exceptionalism.
The phrase has an odd history. As Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz reminds me, American exceptionalism once applied to the hostility that the American worker — virtually alone in the industrialized world — had toward socialism. Now, though, it is infused with religious meaning, … Read More 
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 How Joseph Stalin Invented ‘American Exceptionalism’: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/how-joseph-stalin-invented-american-exceptionalism/254534/
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 The Myth of American Exceptionalism: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/05/10/taking_exceptionalism_109795.html
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