But he goes on to make the case against exceptionalism - something rare to see among conservative authors, and he ends the piece with a terrific quote from Canadian journalist Dan Gardner on why the preaching of US exceptionalism is so 'infantile';
"Now, I don’t want to answer dogma with dogma. Strategic and national interests played major roles in the decisions of all combatants in the First and Second World Wars. They do in every war. It’s a messy world and the motives of nations are seldom simple and pure.
The sort of Americans who cheer for Fred Thompson would agree with that statement — as it applies to other countries. What they cannot seem to accept is that it applies to their country, too. For them, Americans are unique. The United States is unique. And what sets America and Americans apart is purity of heart.
“We are proud of that heritage,” Thompson said in Iowa after citing the mythology of America-the-liberator. “I don’t think we have anything to apologize for.”
Nothing to apologize for. Never did anything wrong in 231 years of history. Nothing.
This is infantile. And dangerous. A superpower that believes it is pure of heart and the light of the world will inevitably rush in where angels fear to tread. And then it will find itself wondering why the foreigners it so selflessly helps hate it so."