Donald Trump probably did not set out to make a statement against American exceptionalism. Probably he was merely trying to defend himself from a rabid media which is eager to paint him as a traitor to America simply because he has so far declined to demonize Russia.
But taking a stand against US exceptionalism is in fact what he ended up doing. After the host O’Reilly on whose show he was whined that Trump refuses to claim a moral high ground against Russia’s Putin Trump doubled down:
O’Reilly: “Putin is a killer!”
Trump: “A lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”
This was nothing short of earth shattering. For a sitting US President to defy the cult of American exceptionalism is something so remarkable and unlikely that most people alive today have never witnessed it before.
For Trump to do it today when the cult is at its most powerful and shrillest it has ever been was extraordinarily courageous (or foolish depending on your perspective).
Sadly, just as Trump so far refuses to demonize Russia he has played the bully on Iran. As Iran tested a missile as it is perfectly within its rights (US has thousands of them) Trump thundered that Iranians were “not behaving” and threatened more sanctions and possibly war.
Atrocious stuff. In what moral universe is Iran “misbehaving” more than the United States? The country which has invaded and occupied more of Iran’s neighbors (Afghanistan and Iraq) than Iran has.
In fact for all its involvement in wars from Bosnia to Afghanistan the Islamic Republic has yet to outright invade anyone in the manner of the US.
You’ve got a lot of killers Mr. Trump. And a lot of skeletons. Quite a bit more than Iran.
Even if Iran were to do something unjustified the US has no moral high ground to claim over it, and is the last power that should ever police the Middle East to which it has brought so much sorrow.
Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Iran is playing with fire – they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017