“American exceptionalism” is the general idea that the United States is different from other countries, endowed with special traits, better, superior. It goes back—well, actually, people debate how far it goes back.
But there’s no debating when it ends. It ends this month, in May 2020, under Donald Trump, who in prematurely sending people back to work (and to gyms) so they can die needlessly is destroying not just thousands of human lives but also any idea of America as a special place. That shining city on a hill business? Done.We are a laughing stock. And, we are a horror show. The other day, there was a world conference on vaccines, a virtual summit run out of London. There were speeches, live and pre-recorded, by Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Shinzo Abe; even thugs like Netanyahu and Erdogan chimed in, putting aside their usual venality out of respect for the gravity of the occasion. The United States? Not represented. By anyone.