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American exceptionalism

Justin Webb | 08:46 UK time, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Apologies if people have seen this but it's too good to let it pass: American exceptionalism in a poll.

Did Jim Callaghan's supporters feel that way when Mrs Thatcher won in 1979; Major's when Blair came to power; I think not.

The figure of interest (of course) is the Republican optimism quotient: nearly half of those who voted for McCain are optimistic about the future under Obama.

It goes to two wonderful facts about the US: first there is a real desire to live life "in the future tense" as David Brooks has it, secondly there is an understanding that life is what you make of it irrespective of who's in or who's out in Washington.

The world can learn from the postive spirit of (many) American Republicans.


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