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Dear Mr. Putin……

September 15, 2013

I don’t read the NY TImes, but heard about your op-ed, that at the end slapped America for claiming it’s American exceptionalism.  Mr. Putin, having been raised under Communism and taught citizenship by the school of the KGB, you wrongly believe that exceptionalism means that America believes itself better or superior, which could not be more wrong.

Orestes Brownson wrote after the Civil War about “providential constitution” which was the idea that people, as a people, are constituted in a political sense before they have a written constitution.  He spoke of “Americans” as being thought of as the people of the United States of America, not Canadians, Mexicans, or Bolivians.  The colonial Americans came together because they had a common language, laws, religious beliefs, and moral and behavioral principles.  They had Judeo-Christian attitudes, and believed in Natural Law and God given inalienable rights as described in the Declaration of Independence.

Americans then created their written Constitution as a protection of these rights against a tyrannical government, and as the framework for self government by “we the people”, which was a unique experiment never before tried.

Calvin Coolidge delivered a speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1926 that:

It was in no sense a rising of the oppressed and downtrodden.  It brought no scum to the surface, for the reason that colonial society had developed no scum.  The great body of the people were accustomed to privations, but they were free from depravity.  If they had poverty, it was not of the hopeless kind that afflicts great cities, but the inspiring kind that marks the spirit of the pioneer.  The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them.”

He said of the the Declaration:

These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.   While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and where very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination.

He went on:

It was not only the principles declared, but the fact that therewith a new nation was born which was to be founded upon those principles and which from that time forth in its development has actually maintained those principles, that makes this pronouncement an incomparable event in the history of government.

Ronald Reagan said of America in his first inaugural address:

If we look to the answer as to why, for so many years, we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here, in this land, we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before.  Freedom and the dignity of the individual have ben more available and assured here than in any other place on earth.  The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

So, my dear Mr. Putin, your ignorance regarding American exceptionalism is understanding given who you are.  However, it is disturbing that the current resident of the White House not only shares your lack of understanding, but worse doesn’t agree with his former peers Reagan and Coolidge.  Fortunately, it’s “we the people” who determine, through consent of the government, who drive our nation’s greatness, not  a sole temporarily elected politician.  He may be currently hold the keys to the car, but it’s Americans who put the gas in the engine of America.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 15, 2013 5:00 pm

    “Fortunately, it’s “we the people” who determine…” Those were the days my friend!

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