Rand Paul simply couldn’t resist. He couldn’t let Russian President Vladimir Putin write a critical review of U.S. foreign policy (in which Putin urged the U.S. not to strike militarily in Syria, and questioned the idea of Americans always believing their policy is exceptional) in the New York Times without offering a rebuttal.
As Paul himself wrote in an op-ed for Time‘s Ideas section, American exceptionalism is as strong as it’s ever been. It is an exceptional country, no doubt about it, and its history has proved that to be true.
“While we all share the same Creator, we do not all share the same richness of history regarding human rights, freedom and democracy. There has been in the past 200 years a city on the hill that has shone brighter than all others.”
Paul’s goes for much more scathing words when criticizing Putin himself, and Russia’s history of foreign policy. While Paul has “a bone to pick” with U.S. foreign policy over the last 15 years, he described Putin as “the least qualified person I can think of to make this argument with a straight face.”
Maybe most importantly, Paul explains that the differences in both countries should not preclude them from working together to solve an international crisis. They’ve already done it once, he says, referring to their alliance during World War II. And they can do it again, because it’s on both countries’ best interests.
Both the U.S. and Russia are targets for current Islamic extremism – whether on their home land, or in other areas of the world that are important. America, Paul writes, should not fight alongside members of Al-Qaeda – who are reportedly part of the rebel cause in Syria. And Russia, he continues, should not want to support a regime that uses chemical weapons and brutalizes its own people.
And back to America for a second. If you need another display of America working as it should, look no further than the debate over Syria.
“America’s exceptionalism is rooted in our founding documents and values…Our constitutional checks and balances were on full display, largely resulting in the at least temporary halting of a rush to war.”
Disagreements and national conversations are a necessary part of American democracy. And the U.S. has never been more exceptional than it is now.
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