This semester Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) ventured to George Washington University (GWU), where they found no students willing to share America was an exceptional nation.
“Multiple students noted the role their education has played in changing their attitudes on the subject, a testament to damage done by higher education systems dominated by leftist faculty and administrators,” YAF noted in their write-up.
Students were asked if they believed America was an exceptional nation, as well as what being exceptional meant.
American exceptionalism to one student was “believing that we’re better than everyone else… and that our way is the right way.” Over the past few years of her education she’s come to not believe that, because “the whole Christopher Columbus and colonialism, westward expansion, all of that.”
Another student noted that “I feel like at some points in history we were exception, we’ve taken a little downfall. So maybe there’s some things that can be done to bring us back up.”
One student spoke of a clip from The Newsroom in that America is not an exceptional nation. “In some regards yes, but not in all regards,” he offered. He noted that exceptionalism has an emphasis on being nationalistic and better than everyone else, “but there’s not a lot of definition and value put behind it. We say it because we can. We don’t have, we don’t lead in a lot of things.”
YAF concluded their write-up noting that the GWU mission statement of “does not include lessons on the greatness of America or its exceptional founding and history.”