Donald Trump, unlike Barack Obama & Company, loves talking about America’s “exceptional” qualities, but we tend to overlook the importance of the exceptional qualities of Trump himself.
No, this will not be a suck-up exercise about the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A serious discussion of President Trump and his record should not neglect Trump’s faults and mistakes, but it must honestly assess how Trump’s own background has shaped events in America and the world.
In many respects, Trump is a fulfilment of the vision of America by the French historian Alexis De Tocqueville, who studied and described American exceptionalism almost 200 years ago, and his words are still accurate.
De Tocqueville saw what made America special, different from Europe, and one of his observations was that great men in America tended to go into “commerce” (today we would say business), leaving politics for more mediocre people.
If one looks at Congress, one finds a collection of mostly mediocrities, failed lawyers and future lobbyists, rarely anyone who has proven himself or herself in any field like business, science or medicine. This is especially true of the Democrats, though there are always some Republican mediocrities, too.
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