Alex, thank you for your praise! I’ve spent limited time abroad, so I haven’t been able to experience the same sorts of cultural attitudes and perceptions in the depths you have. Someday, I would like to be able to do that. Even after I posted my blog, I was still struggling with the nuances of the position I took. To what extent do we really have a right to be upset with the way our country is run compared to countries with similar economic means? Certainly, the United States is special in many ways. But as the richest nation, I sometimes feel as though settling for “pretty good” is not what America is about, especially for those who assert without question that we are the greatest country on earth (I am not one of those people). I count myself as extremely lucky to have been born in the United States, but I also believe we all have a responsibility to demand the best from our leaders (by being an active part of the political process). Until that requirement is met, I fear we must settle for American “Above-averageism” rather than exceptionalism.