I have become even more aware of such views of American exceptionalism, as I have lived in Korea (the southern one) for the past few years. A great country in many ways, but some time ago I saw here an example of exactly what you are saying. A US Navy ship visted a Korean seaport. Its captain was born in America, but his parents had immigrated from Korea. He attended the Naval Academy, and through the course of his naval career he eventually achieved command of a ship.
Despite the many positive things about my host country, such a scenario is unimaginable here in Korea.