In the event that Russian President Vladimir Putin or anyone else challenges American exceptionalism, here is but a brief historical review: Since 1776, we have gone from 13 states and a population of 3 million to 50 states and a population of more than 310 million; we have become the world's economic and military superpower; we were victorious in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II and the Cold War. Along the way, we fought a great Civil War, an orgy of bloody and internecine sacrifice, intended to forever eradicate slavery and expunge its ugly stain.
In the 19th century, America led the world in innovation and engineering: agricultural machinery, weaponry, precision mass production, structural engineering, electric-power generation/transmission and telegraphy/telephony. In the 20th century, we led in advancements in aviation, radio communications, a variety of industrial processes, nuclear energy, rocketry and innumerable, epochal advancements in computers and digital electronics, to mention but a few. And we landed men on the moon and brought them back 44 years ago — and we did it six times.
Americans have won 47 percent of the world's Nobel Prizes in science, medicine and economics. And with only 5 percent of the world's population, America also produces 26 percent of the world's gross domestic product. Are we an exceptional nation? Like none other.
Santa Rosa, Calif.