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OPINION

Tim Scott and American Exceptionalism

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for his candidacy for president.


You may have noticed that Scott is Black. We may ask, in this woke age of ours, the extent to which this matters in his candidacy.

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I think it does matter, which requires some explanation given that I am adamantly opposed to identity politics in all its shapes and forms.

Should Scott run and win, he will not be America's first Black president. When America's first Black president, Barack Obama, did run and win, it was widely viewed as a turning point in American history.

Many thought that, at last, the era of racial politics had come to an end. Now, the thinking went, that Americans showed that a Black man could run for and win the presidency, we would move on from our national obsession with race and move on to dealing with issues confronting the nation as they impact every citizen, regardless of race.

But it didn't happen.

The American people twice chose Obama as their president, and today, perhaps more than ever, racial awareness and politics permeate our day-to-day realities.

They permeate practically all political institutions, corporate boardrooms, athletics, universities, K-12 schools and our day-to-day marketplace.

And it's why Scott's candidacy is so important and why his race matters.

Early in Obama's first term he traveled to Europe for a NATO meeting, and in the press conference after, he was asked by a reporter from the Financial Times if he believes in "American exceptionalism."

For Obama to say "yes" would have been for him to state in this international forum that there is something unique and special about his country that sets it apart from and above others.

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By standards of political correctness, a "yes" answer would have been most incorrect. Obama's finely tuned political skills immediately kicked in and he answered in a most politically correct way.

"I believe in American exceptionalism," he said, "just as the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism."

America's first Black president is a very politically correct man. And it's why his presidency changed nothing regarding racial realities in America.

Tim Scott is not a politically correct man, and it is why his potential presidency can change everything.

He does believe America is exceptional, and he is not afraid to say it. His recent book, "America, A Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity," recounts what he has learned growing up poor, becoming a successful businessman and making his way to the U.S. Senate -- and now, maybe, the presidency.

His personal success story is not about government programs, but about "perseverance and grit," only possible with faith and freedom.

Scott is pro-freedom, pro-private property, pro-personal responsibility and initiative and pro-life.

We must understand that the collapse of these core issues and principles, so vital to a genuinely free society, is threatening our nation both domestically and internationally.

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As David McCormick and James Cunningham show in their new book, "Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America," our collapsing culture is endangering national security, as the Army falls short of recruitment goals with more and more young Americans unwilling or unable to serve.

Tim Scott is Black man in America who knows that this is an exceptional country and that the exceptionalism is rooted in faith and freedom.

Scott understands that out future starts in the hearts and minds of every American citizen of every background and that our future does not start in Washington.

This vital message was lost in the presidency of our first Black president, and great damage was done.

So, Scott's race matters not for woke reasons but for anti-woke reasons.

This is a candidacy that can make all the difference where Barack Obama failed.

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