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The idea of American exceptionalism has been embedded in our DNA for generations. It is the faith-based belief that, as Ronald Reagan put it, America is a “shining city on a hill.” Do modern liberals believe that?
I almost never try to get into the other side’s head or ascribe ill motives to those on the left. They are, I’ve always believed, misguided, not malign.
But I’m having second thoughts after listening to President Obama’s defense of communism/socialism a little over a week ago when he was in Argentina. He advised young people to get behind “what works” economically — as if there is some deep mystery here. Mr. Obama didn’t misspeak. The modern left in America really has come to believe that communism, socialism, Marxism, totalitarianism, or whatever “ism” you want to call the monopolization of power into the hands of a ruling elite, is superior to free market capitalism.
The president of the United States is supposed to be the global spokesman for free enterprise. But instead of traveling to Cuba to point out to the world the decades of stagnation, deprivation, and dehumanization at the hands of Castro, and instead of using this moment in history to showcase the triumph of capitalism 90 miles away, as Mr. Reagan did so memorably at Moscow State University, Mr. Obama praises Castro’s health care and education systems.
He might as well have been praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time. Even more unbelievable: the media applauded.