The Corner

Culture

New York Times Endorses American Exceptionalism

The battle over the College Board’s AP U.S. History framework brought it home to me just how distressing the concept of American exceptionalism now is for the increasingly globalist American left. When I challenged the College Board’s transnationalism and argued that American exceptionalism needs to remain front and center in any proper treatment of our history, liberals objected. And when the College Board floated a bogus fix for the problem by merely inserting the phrase “American exceptionalism” in its framework, while changing little else, the left went nuts.

So imagine my surprise to see the front-page top-of-the-fold “News Analysis” story in today’s New York Times explaining, and implicitly defending, the decision by the Times to publish leaked intelligence material from the Manchester bombing. The headline of the web-based version of this story is: “Leaks: A Uniquely American Way of Annoying the Authorities.” Here’s the crucial passage: “To sum up what distinguishes the United States in a nutshell: It’s the First Amendment…The concept of a free press has been integral to the American idea since its inception. That’s not true even of other democracies.”

Hmm. So how exactly did this uniquely American emphasis on liberty come about? How is it sustained? Can we teach about it? Can we be proud of it? Or should we pretend it doesn’t exist until we need it? And about how long will that work?

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached at comments.kurtz@nationalreview.com

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Most Popular

Education

The Deflation of the Academic Brand

Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council on Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the ... Read More
Elections

My Journey into the Heart of Obama-Trump Country

After eight years of displeasure with Barack Obama’s presidency, Carla Johnson was ready for a drastic change. The 41-year-old lab technician from Cresco, Iowa, fell for Donald Trump very early in the 2016 primary season. She loved his “take-no-[sh**]” style, his conservative stances on gun control and ... Read More