When Barack Obama chose to include a reference to "American exceptionalism" in his Sept. 14 announcement that he would postpone a military strike against Syria, he set off a firestorm of protest. Russia's President Putin, not surprisingly, took caustic aim at Obama's claim, which he probably correctly interpreted as the President's attempt to justify his Administration's violations of international law.
But, as Lyndon LaRouche and his movement have elaborated at length, there is a legitimate claim to American Exceptionalism, stemming from the genesis and history of our republic. In his Oct. 25 webcast, LaRouche himself answered a question from Russia on the issue:
"Well, the origin of the concept of American Exceptionalism has a historical background, and people who do not know U.S. history are therefore at a loss to make an intelligent approach to what this subject is. The point is: We had a situation where Europe was going repeatedly into oligarchical disorders. It was a terrible condition. In this process, toward the end of his life, one of the greatest men who ever lived [Nicholas of Cusa, 1401-64] set up this concept. And that concept of his, was the basis which then informed Christopher Columbus as to how to deal with this problem.
"And what we had in the United States, which included the Massachusetts Bay Colony as an example of this, we had an exceptional condition. Exceptional to what? Exceptional in taking exception against what the European systems were, the oligarchical systems. It's the exception against the oligarchical system that's crucial.
"Obama, of course, fits in with the oligarchical system perfectly. He's a tool of the European oligarchy. He is an exception—well, in a different sense, in the sense of what you don't want.
"But that's the point. So the point is, this is an historic point, that mankind has suffered from oligarchical rule, in all kinds of circumstances. In the United States, or what became the United States, what happened in two phases—one in the initial phase with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and then later, in the American Revolution—we came up with this exception: that the basis for our authority is human—human as opposed to oligarchical.
"Unfortunately, in this process, Obama has a completely oligarchical mentality, and what he needs is an exception to himself!"
Obama, of course, has not been the only ugly blot on the anti-oligarchical tradition of the United States. From our very outset, our Founding Fathers found themselves at war within their own country, against those who had been corrupted with oligarchical ideas, such as slavery, monetarism, and plain old corruption. Indeed, Presidents who adhered to the anti-oligarchical ideas known as the American System have been a minority in our history, and too often, the victims of assassination, such as Lincoln and Kennedy.
Since the assassination of Kennedy, the dominance of the oligarchical factor in American politics, economy, and thinking has increasingly prevailed. Those who were most vigorous in trampling the real principles of the American Constitution into the dust—Newt Gingrich comes to mind—have at the same time, been the most vociferous in claiming the mantle of "American Exceptionalism."
These evil fools must be cast out of power in American political life, starting with the President overripe for impeachment, Barack Obama.