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To win Presidential elections in the United States, the top candidate must think like a Jew. No, not worrying all the time, but to cite the fact that America is, to paraphrase, "A Chosen People,"
For instance, in Conservative and Republican language (Democrats have their own language as well --- more on that further down), American Exceptionalism is the concept that America is the New Jerusalem of the world.
Let us consider that before 2001, at this candidate debate, Nation Building (i.e. Wilsonianism) was not part of Republican Party Foreign Policy, but in 2000, it was a part of Democratic party Foreign Policy (i.e. Haiti, the former Yugoslavia):
For a long time during America's growth, America could remain isolated from the world. Heck, the Republican party after the Treaty of Versailles stood very strongly against foreign intervention. But that policy gave us World War II and the rise of dictator states. The Democrats (and the Buchaninites/Ron Paul lemmings) have acted as if the world has not changed since 1919.
Yet, the other extreme is relying too much on Collective Security. Senator Kerry, as presidential Candidate in 2004, talked of "A Global Test," before America could send troops overseas. The world could veto US foreign policy? Which organization would have precedence? NATO? The EU? The UN? The former Warsaw Pact? Who?
Remember how I said Democrats have their own language too? Democrats believe in carrot Diplomacy, but with no stick. A sovereign nation can threaten our Ambassadors, our military or our citizens overseas, but with a future Democratic Administration, there will be no consequence.
Because the world is interconnected, America cannot just turn it's back; The Democrats want to, but, again I ask, what are the consequences? Democrats are pushing a bill through Congress limiting the number of military bases in Iraq. When Iran tipped over in 1979, America's only allies in that reigon were Israel and Saudi Arabia. Should we not keep an eye on that part of the world?
American Exceptionalism is about countering Collective Security when it fails. How many massacres have the United Nations stopped? How many wars or threats of war? We are an optimistic nation; Democracy, even with it's flaws (1960 and 2000), is still better than a dictatorship. If Democrats cannot argue in 2008 for American Exceptionalism, they can follow the Whigs.