When asked by a reporter if he believed in "American Exceptionalism," President Obama replied: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” It was if he’d just gotten back from Lake Wobegon, where all the chidren are above average.
So if America’s exceptional and so are the Greeks and the Brits—and presumably, too, are the Bangladeshis and the Paraguayans and everyone else—what remains of our exceptionalism?
Well, if that’s the president’s position, let’s apply it to one area greatly in need of such a formula: Reform of the United Nations.
The U.N. was originally supposed to be a world body, a forum for the prevention of war and the maintenance of a just and durable peace. That was FDR’s great vision. But it never achieved that lofty goal. It never has come close.
The U.N. has managed to overlook the captivity of hundreds of millions of people in the Soviet bloc for nearly half a century. The U.N. never heard of the Gulag Archipelago. The U.N. turned a blind eye on Mao Zedong’s half century of murderous rule in China. Tens of millions of forced abortions take place in China today—with the active assistance of the U.N. Fund for Population Activity (UNFPA).
Cuba—a member of the U.N.’s notorious Human Rights Council—is under the grip of a senescent Communist dictatorship. Orlando Zapata—the true Cuban champion of human rights—died in a Castro prison recently, following a hunger strike in which he demanded nothing more than what the U.N. proclaimed in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights more than 60 years ago.
Still, the United States pays more than 22 percent ($1,800,000,000) of the UN’s annual budget. That’s because FDR considered the United States exceptional, the leader of the free world.
Since President Obama thinks everyone is exceptional, let’s cut the U.S. share of the UN budget back to 6 percent. After all, we are constantly told by the Obama administration that U.S. claims to preeminence are arrogant and offensive to others in Europe and the developing world.
So let’s be more modest. Liberals constantly tell us how much we consume and suggest that because we are only 6 percent of the world population, we are somehow hogging more than our fair share. (They never note that we produce a huge portion of the world’s GDP).
If we are only 6 percent of the world’s really exceptional folks, let’s knock our contribution to the UN down to that figure.
What? The U.N. as currently structured could not survive on that amount? Precisely.
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