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Trump Exceptionalism [Nathan Robinson / Current Affairs]

January 14, 2018

Warning: Trump related, politics, author has an agenda, sells anti-Clinton book, etc.

The article below caught my attention by the term “exceptionalism”. The concept of “American Exceptionalism”, to me, is central to more than a few wrong turns US politics and policy has made. In this article the author actually uses the word to mean something entirely different, but also interesting.

In his analysis, what is exceptional is the extreme uniqueness Democrats attribute to the Trump Administration and the existential threat a leader like Trump poses to the US political system. There’s some truth in that. But obsessive focus on the person of Trump as the exceptional threat has side effects. In particular, what we see is that vital criticisms of past Republican administrations are washed away – and of course criticisms of Democratic administrations too, when they do the same things.

On a more tactical note, this approach would leave Democrats with little to show for the hard rhetorical work of 2017, if the Republicans should ditch Trump and run someone else next time. Not that I expect that, but clearly that is an option that is kept ready just in case.


[via NakedCapitalism]


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