“American exceptionalism” is a phrase frequently rolled out in support of United States interventions abroad, including US military attacks. So it would likely surprise many people to hear that Ron Paul, the former US House of Representatives member and presidential candidate known for his advocacy for a noninterventionist foreign policy, declared in a panel discussion this week at the TRT World show The Newsmakers that he is a supporter of American exceptionalism. However, there is a catch. Paul defines the American exceptionalism he supports differently than the way that phrase is commonly defined by people who desire the US to be an empire or the policeman on the world.
Asked on the show whether the average American voter wants the US to be a superpower, Paul responds that:
Well, I think everybody in every country wants to be, you know, a ‘superpower’ — influential and an example. But, the superpower you’re talking about, I think, is the wrong way to go. I’d like to think of American exceptionalism, but it’s quite a bit different than us going over and telling people how to run their elections and who should be in charge of their government and using our [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)] to overthrow government. But, I think we should be an exceptional nation on setting examples on free markets and civil liberties and these sort of things so other people want to emulate us.
Watch the entire panel discussion, in which Paul addresses various US foreign policy matters, here:
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.