When you’re simply the best

by ericknight

Americans can be a baffling bunch sometimes. Australians and Brits tend to understate a case when they make it. Americans, on the other hand, sometimes get hot under the collar if a point is not made forcefully enough. Like, for example, when a President understates just how ‘exceptional’ a nation you are.

That is apparently the problem with Barack Obama. Obama got in trouble from the Tea Party last year for saying something that sounds reasonable to an Australian ear. “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” he said.

One has to wonder what this attack on Obama is really about. One view is that it is an oblique attack by the ‘Birthers’ on Obama’s legitimacy as an American-born President. Another is that it rides negative sentiment about whether Obama is really deciding in his country’s best interests.

Both might be true, but beneath the surface there may be some disquiet of Obama’s new approach to foreign policy. In a speech he gave late last year, Obama made a statement advocating for “a new era of engagement”. He went on to say:

“I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.”

It is a bold and intriguing decision. I’m no expert on US foreign policy or American history, but I’m fascinated by where this superpower finds itself on history’s timeline. If you have any reactions please comment away!

For an interesting podcast on the subject click here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Knight April 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Hi Eric.

This is Eric Knight…really…your counterpart on the other side of the planet.

It is enjoyable to read your postings and insights. I particularly enjoy your perspectives regarding the political scene here in the U.S. If you (or your readers) have any questions, I’d be happy to provide some thoughts from America. (I’m not a politician, but I do enjoy staying in tune with the latest political happenings.)

Keep up the wonderful writing and perspectives. Feel free to stop by my blog at http://www.ericknight.com anytime.

Have a good day.

– Eric

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ericknight April 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Hi Eric,

It is a privlege to meet you. One can only imagine a world half a century ago when the two Eric Knights could never have met via this cyberspace conversation. I was recently on a conference call with some American businessmen I am working with and they sent a file which arrived in real time 10 seconds later. Truly extraordinary.

You also have a very interesting website. I look forward to sharing perspectives. Feel free to comment on my posts whenever you wish.

Best Eric

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