The end of American exceptionalism

In Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” and George H.W. Bush’s “a thousand points of light” we have all believed, at some level, that our country had some special grace, a blessing that would enliven our greater selves, our better angels, to stand up for decency, the rule of law, and the basic tenets of  honesty and truth in our public discourse. This was American exceptionalism.  Clearly, that belief is shattered by a deeply flawed candidate who appealed to the worst instincts of our country and is now president-elect. We are left with deep anxiety imagining how much a president Trump will remain aligned with the nativism and racism of the radical Right, and what the Republican party is willing to do to thwart Trump’s worst instincts.

Here is a very good editorial by David Remnick from the New Yorker magazine.