The link between economic growth and inequality is something that conservative politicians push at us all the time. Unfortunately for the Right, the relationship between values, prosperity and power is not quite as they would have it.
I too believe in American exceptionalism, although I don't think God has anything to do with it. America is exceptional in the advantages we've had over other nations, not what we've done with those advantages.
It seems President Obama concluded that we as Americans can only understand the rhetoric of competition. We must struggle, produce, innovate, all in the name of greater economic power and military prowess.
If we are to be an exceptional people, it must be because we are an accepting people -- a people with the humility to include our own normalcy in our identity, and to stand up anyway in the midst of difficulties and do what's right.
From time to time Americans discuss our "exceptionalism." Some think it means being better than others. But in addition to meaning remarkable or exceptionally good, it also means abnormal, anomalous, aberrant, and deviant.
Nearly 6-in-10 Americans affirm American exceptionalism that God has granted America a special role in human history. Those affirming this view are more likely to support military interventions and to say torture is sometimes justified.
The boast of American exceptionalism betrays ignorance of the Founding Fathers and the tarnished history of the United States. In any event, to overlook faults because other nations are more flawed is juvenile, and leads nowhere.
We owe it to ourselves to renew American exceptionalism. The attacks from within are serious and threatening. If they succeed, the loss to our souls will be more damaging than to our pride and our pocketbooks.