Rick Santorum and the rest of GOP presidential gang all have a man-crush. Considering he was an outright intellectual elitist, a shaggy-haired liberal, and — horror of horrors — French, the object of their adoration seems a bit surprising, but the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville and his 1835 United States travelogue, Democracy in America, have surged into national politics this campaign cycle — often linked to the nascent expression “American exceptionalism.” […]
Although a superiority complex has long pervaded the national psyche, the expression “American exceptionalism” only became big a few years ago. (In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton called on Americans to “vindicate the honor of the human race.”) What’s more, Tocqueville didn’t invent the term. Who did? Joseph Stalin.
Read more. [Image: Reuters and Wikimedia Commons]
March 15, 2012
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