Friday, June 18, 2004

Ignorance of history or American exceptionalism?

Atrios points to this Detroit Free Press column by Brian Dickerson and asks why so many in the press are ignorant of history?

If you trusted George Bush, well, fine I suppose. But the claim that "we could not believe that any president would mislead his constituents about so important a matter..." is just insane. It's ignorant of history, ignorant of human nature, and, frankly, just plain ignorant.

I want to be able to pat people on the head when they come around, but what the hell is this guy thinking?

I don't think it is just a case of being ignorant of history. I think American exceptionalism has a lot to do with it as well. Ask any of these people if they could imagine a Putin or a Berlusconi or whoever it is that is in charge in China of doing something like this and they probably would consider it possible. But when it comes to America they just don't want to believe that our leaders could be just as crass.

I guess that's another difference between myself and them. I have always understood that there is nothing special about our leaders. They are equally capable of greatness and perfidity as the rest of the world. Thus I was open to considering the idea that Bush would lead us to war for political reasons.


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