Yes, We Are Exceptional
And now let us indulge an honest exultation in the conviction of the benefit which the example of our country has produced and is likely to produce on human freedom and human happiness. And let us endeavor to comprehend in all its magnitude and to feel in all its importance the part assigned to us in the great drama of human affairs.
—DANIEL WEBSTER, DEDICATION OF BUNKER HILL MONUMENT, 1825
Less than fifty years after our founding, the benefit of America’s example for the world was evident. Yet Daniel Webster could not have begun to imagine the true magnitude of the role we would play “in the great drama of human affairs.” We have guaranteed freedom, security, and peace for a larger share of humanity than has any other nation in all of history. There is no other like us. There never has been. We are, as a matter of empirical fact and undeniable history, the greatest force for good the world has ever known.
Born of the revolutionary ideal that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” we were, first, an example of freedom’s possibilities. During World War II, we became freedom’s defender; at the end of the Cold War, the world’s sole superpower.
We did not seek the position. It is ours because of our ideals and our power, and the power of our ideals. In the words of British historian Andrew Roberts, “In the debate over whether America was born great, achieved greatness, or had greatness thrust upon her, the only possible conclusion must be: all three.”
We are, as constitutional scholar Walter Berns put it, “the one essential country.” It isn’t just our involvement in world events that has been essential for the triumph of freedom. It is our leadership.No other nation, international body, or community of nations can do what we do. For the better part of a century, security and freedom for millions of people around the globe have depended on America’s military, economic, political, and diplomatic might. For the most part, until the administration of Barack Obama, we delivered. ~EXCEPTIONAL Dick & Liz Cheney