American conservatism is often derided by the Left for exceptionalism, or the belief that as a country, we’re different and exceptional (which sometimes leads to unilateralism on the order of Mark Steyn’s America Alone.) And there are always the two dangerous ditches– one of vanity and hubris which blinds one to the faults of his country and the other, self-deprecation which blinds one to the virtues of it. The ditch which the Left all too often falls into is knee-jerk apologizing for America.
Now with the proper sophrosyne and balance, let me quickly dispense with the customary precursor and invocation which must precede, “I’m proud of America,” and that’s, “Of course, America isn’t perfect. We have our faults.”
Collectively in the primaries, we saw a guitar-playing former Baptist minister, a Mormon business executive, a Kansas farmer, an Italian-American twice remarried district attorney, a decorated Vietnam Vet, a female lawyer, a black community organizer, a Hispanic gun owner. Now, the descriptors obviously are simplistic tags, but they aren’t meant to be reductionist or divisive.
The labels are meant to show that we have diversity and social mobility and one cannot compare Europe (much less Asia or daresay Africa) to America. Where is there such a diversity of candidates for executive office?
So, let’s be humble in the coming year but also let’s be grateful. There are opportunities afforded to us in this country that are not found elsewhere.