What made America 'exceptional' is the moral and political vision of its Founders, who clearly understood that a country established on the principles of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' was, not only an historical anomaly, but also represented the embodiment of the highest values to which mankind could aspire.
What continues to make America exceptional is the extent to which we still live up to those same values bequeathed to us by a group of exceptional and extraordinary men.
No, Leftists...Islamic Fundamentalism, Communism, Socialism, Tribalism, Marxism etc. are not 'equal' to our way of life. In fact, they are demonstrably inferior in every relevant way.
We do not believe in our heart of hearts anymore that we are exceptional; we have even elected a President who does not believe it and tolerate it while he makes sure the rest of the world understands how ordinary we are, even as he placates us here at home with faint praise of our unexceptional exceptionalism.Well, I still believe it, ma'am. With all my heart and mind. And you might be surprised at how many of our countrymen still agree. This meat-puppet currently occupying the White House is merely an aberration. Apparently, we neglected to learn from the Carter administration, so we had to beat our head against the wall even harder.
Eventually, we'll figure out that the best part of the lesson is when we stop.