American Exceptionalism is a belief that America as a country is fundamentally superior to other countries and possesses the capability to lead the World (Vann, 2015). This view is seen as inherently flawed as many people believe that the American attitude and values are problematic, however; apart from this view, there is not much evidence that may prove that the United States is, indeed, capable of becoming the world leader. One does not even need to take a closer look to see that there are gaps and flaws in this belief, so much, so that people have tried to redefine American Exceptionalism; including Former President Barack Obama. He stated, “What Selma does better than perhaps any other moment in our history is to vindicate the faith of our founders; to vindicate the idea that ordinary folks — not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege or certain religious belief — are able to shape the destiny of their nation.” (Jaffe, 2015)
This is a very inclusive statement and it fits the perspective of the newer generations that want a more accepting America that does not tolerate racist beliefs. However; this definition does not fit the perspective of older generations as it is not seen as practical. The reason behind this is that the older generation is set in their ways and does not accept change easily. America has come a long way from being an oppressive and racist country that judge people based on their color, race, religion, etc. There is still room for improvement but it certainly is a step in the right direction. The original idea behind American Exceptionalism is elitist and offensive as this belief self-appoints America as the leader of the world when the rest of the world does not share this sentiment. If the Americans accept the fact that America has its shortcoming, then their lives will become a little easier.
Jaffe, G. (2015, June 3). Obama may have found a way to respond to criticism that he doesn’t love America enough. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/06/03/obama-and-american-exceptionalism/
Vann, Dr. B. (2015). American Exceptionalism Session 1—Dr. Barry Vann—Forged in Fire. https://vimeo.com/ccucags/review/315284640/57673ae3cb