Obama had it right: There is American exceptionalism, British exceptionalism, Greek…
Ed Luce, the Financial Times’s US national editor, recently pointed out a July 4 editorial by the National Review as an example of “the mindless jingoism in which the US cannot afford to indulge.”
If you don’t read the editorial, let me pick out a choice line in it: “If asked before birth where on the globe he hoped to end up, only a fool would look outside of America”.
As Mr Luce correctly noted, it put him in mind of German polymath Alexander von Humboldt’s line: “The most dangerous world view is the view of those who have not viewed the world”.
I think Barack Obama had it slightly better. He once told Mr Luce that he believed in American exceptionalism, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism”.