Beacon of Freedom: Does America Have a Special Mission? A discussion with C. Boyden Gray, Gordon Wood, Michael Barone and Richard Epstein. Part 1 of 2.This panel examines the question whether there is an American ideology of exceptionalism that is deeply rooted in 400 years of our history. Have Americans from John Winthrop to the Founding Fathers to Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan believed that we are a shining city on a hill - a beacon of liberty and democracy for the rest of the world? Do we still believe in the creed affirmed by the Statue of Liberty that America is the light of the world and the natural home of all who are oppressed? Many historians have claimed that the belief that Americans are special people with a special mission in a special place is a recurrent theme in our history. Is the United States a country organized around an ideology of belief in freedom, democracy, social equality, and individualism and, if so, is that a good thing? - The Federalist Societymoreless
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