Richard Cohen, of the Washington Post writes a convoluted article where he rails against the concept of American Exceptionalism (you can find it here). In it, Mr. Cohen suggests that America is in decline and that we should be a nation of compromise to fix our woes. Why should America compromise? I suggest that we are in decline because of a failure to stay true to our fundamentals: individual liberties, free markets, and small government. Since the first Progressive Movement at the beginning of the 20th century, through the New Deal and the Great Society, and up to today, both Democrats and Republicans have altered, changed, and manipulated the American system with a hope to create a Utopia in the United States. Has it worked? The left's answer is "more needs to be done!," while the right's answer is "haven't you done enough already?!?!"
Through legislation and taxation, the government takes the wealth from the “haves” and gives it to the “have-nots.” By sanctioning forced altruism, the federal government has created a dependency upon the state, and has taught the “have-nots” that they can get everything they want if they remain poor. Mr. Cohen, as well as Progressives, suggests that American exceptionalism should be the government giving away money, goods, and services to the poor. On the contrary. American exceptionalism is grabbing hold of an opportunity, working hard, and seeing the fruits of your labor. Ask for nothing. Expect nothing. Depend on nothing. Simply be responsible for your own welfare. If Mr. Cohen wants to call that American narcissism, then I will heartily embrace that moniker.