Secretary of State Lurch, in a talk overseas:
I get always a little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are – not because we’re not exceptional, but because it’s kind of in-your-face and a lot of other people are exceptional, a lot of other places do exceptional things.
As objectionable as that quote is, I should add that he goes on to say America is exceptional, and he almost gets it right. He says Americans have the chance to aspire to greatness, but that is only a byproduct of the idea this country was founded on: Rights inhere in the individual. That is the idea that changed the world.
Of course all that talk of exceptionalism makes him uncomfortable. This is the man who catapulted to fame by vilifying his fellow Vietnam soldiers, then tried to claim war-hero status when he was running for president. Jane Fonda still gets my vote as the worst person to come out of the Vietnam era -- she should get down on her knees every night and thank God she is not in prison where she belongs. But John Kerry runs a close second.