Is America Exceptional?

The most important question in American politics today is whether America is an exceptional nation.  This is the core question behind every debate we are having about how to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. 

If America is a unique nation founded upon self-evident truths about the rights of man, then that belief imposes inherent limits on the size and scope of government. 

If, however, America is a normal country, no different than our European cousins, then big government socialism that takes power from citizens and gives it to bureaucrats is acceptable. 

We believe in American Exceptionalism – in creator endowed rights, limited government, and a responsible, self-sufficient American people.  That’s why we have undertaken a major investment of time and effort in focusing every American on our history and our remarkable culture.

This Friday, we are premiering a new movie, A City Upon a Hill: The Spirit of American Exceptionalism, with Citizens United at 7:00 pm in Washington, DC.  (If you would like to attend the premiere, click here for RSVP information.) This new documentary explores the concept o f American Exceptionalism from its origin to the present day.

Newt also has a new book coming out June 14th from Regnery, A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters, in which he outlines the historic case for American Exceptionalism and the vital importance of sustaining our role as a unique nation based on the self-evident truths outlined in the Declaration of Independence. 

Additionally, we have developed an online course which will soon be available at Liberty University.  It explains and outlines the origins and importance of American Exceptionalism.  

Finally, Callista wants young children to learn more about our exceptional country and is writing a children’s book, Sweet Land of Liberty, featuring Ellis the Elephant as a historical guide. It will be published by Regnery in September so children can learn why America is an exceptional nation.

What is American Exceptionalism and why is it so important?

There is enormous pressure from the liberal elites to treat America as a normal country because the left sees American Exceptionalism as an obstacle to their big government ambitions. 

Despite this pressure, however, most Americans still believe we are exceptional.  First generation American immigrants, in particular, are especially certain that America is a unique and special country.

A recent Gallup poll captured this sense of the America people.

Respondents were asked “Because of the United States’ history and its Constitution, do you think the U.S. has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world, or don’t you think so?”  Eighty percent of all Americans said they believed in American Exceptionalism (this includes 91% of Republicans, 77% of independents, and 73% of Democrats).”).

The poll also revealed that most Americans are worried that America is losing what makes it exceptional.  Three quarters of those who believe in American Exceptionalism (62% of all Americans) believe we are at risk of losing our nation’s unique character. 

We agree that the United States is at risk of losing its exceptional history and culture. 

At the time of our founding, no other nation had adopted such radical ideals. No other nation had declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — rights that no king or government could take away.

During his travels in the 1830s, French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, observed that America was an exceptional nation with a special role to play in history.  Tocqueville wrote that, unlike Europe, where social standing defined a citizen, America was a new republic where liberty, equality, individualism, and free markets defined the “American Creed.”

A City Upon A Hill, which we host and produce, explores the concept of American Exceptionalism.  What makes our Declaration of Independence and Constitution special?  Why did George Washington relinquish power?  How did we climb out of the Great Depression to become the world’s greatest economic power?  Why did we lead the liberation of Europe during World War II?  And why was it important to be the first country to land on the moon?

Through interviews with historians, politicians, and experts, including Representative Michele Bachmann, Representative Allen West, Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Douglas Brinkley, Edwin Meese III, Donald Trump, Allen Guelzo, Fred Barnes, Michael Barone, Andrew Breitbart, S.E. Cupp, Victor Davis Hanson, Dana Loesch, Phyllis Schlafly, and many more, we will see that America is indeed an exceptional nation.

We hope you can join us in Washington, DC this Friday for our premiere of A City Upon a Hill: The Spirit of American Exceptionalism.

Newt and Callista filming A City Upon a Hill
© Gingrich Productions

Your friends,

Newt and Callista

P.S. Last week in a speech to the Brookings Institute, I outlined a very bold 7 point healthcare plan for America to pursue a program of the most rapid scientific discoveries, with the most rapid regulatory approval, with a constant focus on implementing and funding innovations designed to lengthen lives, increase independent living, and create more American jobs and more American prosperity.  Watch it at the Center for Health Transformation.

This week in American Exceptionalism

April 29, 2004 – The National World War II Memorial Opens in Washington, DC – One of the reasons why America is exceptional is because of our willingness to defend freedom.  Even during the most trying times, ordinary Americans rise up to defend the self-evident truths underpinning American Exceptionalism: that God made all to be free and has endowed every man and woman with the capacity to be free.  In fascism, during World War II, our country faced as opponents totalitarian governments that believed in the polar opposite of American Exceptionalism. Franklin Delano Roosevelt described our conflict as one between “our Christian civilization” and paganism. The National World War II Memorial doesn’t just honor the bravery and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation; it honors America’s unique status as the world’s greatest defender of liberty. 

Newt’s Quick Links

•    In his article on Renewing American Leadership, Archbishop Charles Chaput discusses America and the Governor of the Universe. You can read the piece here.

•    Gingrich Productions has launched its new online store.  Visit Gingrich Productions for new autographed books and other offers.