I don’t like Vladimir Putin. At all. He’s anti-gay and has shown several times that he values self-interest over liberty for his citizens. However, some people see people they don’t like and immediately assume they make no good points. I’m not one of those people.
Yesterday Putin published an op ed in the New York Times talking about how to approach the situation in Syria. I think it was largely disingenuous, since it’s kind of obvious that Syria (which houses a key Russian military base) is an area of great political importance for Russia. It’s sad, because the reasons Putin gave for opposing America rattling the sabre of war were pretty good.
Ironically, the cause for controversy has largely been the last paragraph of Putin’s piece where he said, contrary to Obama’s claims, Americans were not exceptional.
I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
Yes, god created us all equal…except for the gay men and women in your own country.
The idea of American exceptionalism seems to operate like religion, where it seems far more important that people believe it than whether or not it’s actually true. And I’ll bet if you ran a study you’d find a very high correlation between the two. Much like religion, I say of American exceptionalism that I don’t want to believe it until the evidence confirms it, and right now that just ain’t the case. We’ve all known the guy who is average but who walks around boasting of his world-class skill at something. I don’t want to be that guy, and America shouldn’t want to be that country. That is why I want us to act as a partner to the global community, not as its parent.