The Two American Exceptionalisms

It's always interesting to see what people learn from their experiences. At the Republican National Convention last week, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shared a brief glimpse of what it was like to grow up in a deeply segregated Southern city before the Civil Rights be a child in a community where she couldn't go to a movie theater or most restaurants, or even eat a hamburger at Woolworth's. Those experiences could have warped her for the rest of her life, but they didn't.  Her parents, she says, taught her to look beyond the entrenched cruelties of her daily life to the wonderful possibilities available all around her in what was, for all its faults, "the most successful economic and political experiment in human history."  Amid bigotry and segregation, Rice managed to hold on to a firm belief in American "exceptionalism."  She grew up determined to be a part of uniting the people around her -- not dividing them, not hating them, not...(Read Full Article)