The whole article misses the one single reason that America is exceptional. It has nothing to do with the people, their quality or their character, and every thing to do with governance established in our founding documents. For the first time in all of history government was established that honors the individual as preeminent , not royalty, not a dictator, not a religious figure, no group or governmental body. Government was instituted among men that derives its power and authority from the consent of the governed. Our first hundred years it worked beautifully. At the turn of the century, errant ideas began to be substituted as men tried to impose their failed, progressive nonsense on 'we the people'. It has been the war of this century.