To get more of a quantitative sense of the phrase’s evolution, I analyzed the Republican Party platform. All party platforms typically emphasize faith in American greatness, but between 1856 and 2008, the GOP never used the expression “American exceptionalism” or even the adjective “exceptional” to describe the country. By contrast, the final section of the 2012 Republican platform lambasting the Obama presidency was titled “American exceptionalism.” The 2016 platform put the phrase into the first line of its preamble: “We believe in American exceptionalism.” The evolution of “American exceptionalism” into an anti-Obama rallying cry with nativist overtones evoked earlier appeals to “states’ rights” to rouse whites resenting the end of segregation.

“I felt that jobs were hurting,” he said. “I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order. Then, of course, you get to trade, and I said to myself, ‘What would be good?’ I was sitting at my desk, where I am right now, and I said, ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”


Of course, unlike anything else on TV, the story lines coming out of Washington could determine the future of Roe v. Wade, whether immigrant families can reunite and the health of the global economy. Tuning out is a luxury only the most privileged viewers can afford. And yet, it goes beyond being an informed citizen when you find yourself on hour six of watching a panel of experts debate Bob Woodward’s use of “deep background” sourcing for his book “Fear,” Paul Manafort’s $15,000 ostrich-leather bomber jacket (“a garment thick with hubris,” The Washington Post said) and the implications of Stormy Daniels’s lurid descriptions of Mr. Trump’s, um, anatomy. (I, for one, will never look at Super Mario the same way again.)
In February 2015, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season of the show because of the possibility of a presidential run.[247] Despite this, NBC announced they were going ahead with production of a 15th season.[248] In June, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."[249]
In New York City and around the world, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses. Among them are the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower, and the luxury residential buildings, Trump Parc, Trump Palace, Trump Plaza, 610 Park Avenue, The Trump World Tower (the tallest building on the East Side of Manhattan), and Trump Park Avenue. Mr. Trump was also responsible for the designation and construction of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on land controlled by him, known as the West 34th Street Railroad Yards, and the total exterior restoration of the Grand Central Terminal as part of his conversion of the neighboring Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The development is considered one of the most successful restorations in the City and earned Mr. Trump an award from Manhattan’s Community Board Five for the “tasteful and creative recycling of a distinguished hotel.” Over the years, Mr. Trump has owned and sold many great buildings in New York including the Plaza Hotel (which he renovated and brought back to its original grandeur, as heralded by the New York Times Magazine), the St. Moritz Hotel (three times…and now called the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South) and until 2002, the land under the Empire State Building (which allowed the land and lease to be merged together for the first time in over 50 years). Additionally, the NikeTown store is owned by Mr. Trump, on East 57th Street and adjacent to Tiffany’s. In early 2008, Gucci opened their largest store in the world in Trump Tower.

Wrong. Republicans are passionate. Don't misjudge that as anger. We are passionate about our country, our way of life and the rule of law. We are passionate about freedom and liberty. We are passionate about a limited federal government. It's the Democrats who are angry that they are out of power. That's it. They are not in power so they are angry. They are harassing people who they disagree with, they are forming mobs....


Trump's political party affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987,[348] switched to Independent in 1999, Democrat in 2001, and back to Republican in 2009.[348] He made donations to both the Democratic and the Republican party, party committees, and candidates until 2010 when he stopped donating to Democrats and increased his donations to Republicans considerably.[349]
Election International reactions Transition Inauguration Polls Timeline first 100 days 2017 Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 domestic trips (2017/2018) international trips Ambassadors Judicial appointments Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch nomination Brett Kavanaugh nomination controversies U.S. Attorneys U.S. Marshals Cabinet formation Appointments Economic advisors Stormy Daniels scandal Dismissal of James Comey Pardons and commutations Joe Arpaio Executive actions Proclamations Foreign policy America First Trump–Kim meeting Trump–Putin meeting Tariffs
Progressives believe Trump is an authoritarian tyranny barely constrained by the rule of law. With a straight face, these same progressives argue the accusations against Kavanaugh are proof of his guilt, he should not be presumed innocent, a lack of witnesses is confirmation he did what they claim, all women must be believed except the ones who defend Kavanaugh, and any dissent is just white male privilege. Progressives may claim President Trump is Caesar at the edge of the Rubicon, but they have embraced the bastard love child of Joseph Stalin and Franz Kafka and enlisted the American political press to smear, defame, and attack anyone who stands in their way.
On June 20, President Trump held a rally in Duluth, Minnesota supporting Republican Congressional candidate Pete Stauber in the 2018 midterm elections[233] and addressing his own 2020 prospects in the state[234] among other subjects. The rally came on the day the president had signed an Executive Order on the treatment of immigrant families with children.[233] At the rally he said enforcement at the border would be “just as tough" under the Executive Order.[234]
On September 26, Trump also attended a campaign fundraising dinner hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in New York City. The event was reported to have raised nearly $5 million, with major donors spending up to $250,000 to dine with President Trump.[217] Since Trump scheduled for a quick meeting with Nikki Haley and other U.N. officials immediately prior the fundraiser, he was able to file the travel expenses related to that visit to New York as "government business", thus making them the expense of the American taxpayer, and not his campaign.[217] Trump's pattern of mixing travel for fundraising activities with travel for government business has drawn criticism from government watchdog organizations.[217]

Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, sleep in the main square of Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala, in the border with Mexico, on Oct. 20, 2018. Thousands of migrants who forced their way through Guatemala's northwestern border and flooded onto a bridge leading to Mexico, where riot police battled them back, on Saturday waited at the border in the hope of continuing their journey to the United States. Orlando Sierra, AFP/Getty Images
The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.
In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would be repealed after six months.[598] Trump argued that "top legal experts" believed that DACA was unconstitutional, and called on Congress to use the six-month delay to pass legislation solving the "Dreamers" issue permanently.[599] As of March 2018, when the delay expired, no legislation had been agreed on DACA.[600] Several states immediately challenged the DACA rescission in court.[601] Two injunctions in January and February 2018 allowed renewals of applications and stopped the rolling back of DACA, and in April 2018 a federal judge ordered the acceptance of new applications; this would go into effect in 90 days.[602]
Christopher Murphy, a 44-year-old Connecticut senator, is casting his message at a different segment of millennials — those who live on Twitter, where he offers running political commentary, or listen to podcasts like “Pod Save America,” where he’s made several appearances. His and Mr. Ryan’s campaign slogans write themselves: “You’re Only as Old as You Feel.”
Trump operated golf courses in several countries.[193] He hosted several boxing matches at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks.[195] He also acted as a financial advisor to Mike Tyson.[196] In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race, which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia.[197]
In 2013, New York State filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University; the suit alleged that the company made false statements and defrauded consumers.[209][212] In addition, two class-action civil lawsuits were filed in federal court relating to Trump University; they named Trump personally as well as his companies.[213] During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized presiding Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, alleging bias in his rulings because of his Mexican heritage.[214][215] Shortly after Trump won the presidency, the parties agreed to a settlement of all three pending cases, whereby Trump paid a total of $25 million and denied any wrongdoing.[216][217]
"We are losing our influence because this is the type of man who calls a woman a 'horseface.' By the way, a woman he chose to have sex with. I don't know where that begins and ends and I wouldn't want to pick that apart," Brzezinski said on Morning Joe Tuesday. "If you look at how he is speaking on the international stage about the murder of a Washington Post reporter [Jamal Khashoggi], that itself should be deeply disturbing to anybody who works inside the White House...At some point, you are working for a president who is not fit to lead, who is going to do something crazy in five minutes, one hour, tonight or tomorrow. What more do you need to hear from him to start thinking 25th Amendment or something else?"
Colbert chimed in to explain why he didn't want Trump to pull himself out of the race, saying: "I think it's important that the voters of America have an opportunity to say 'Oops, my bad. We've made a mistake there.' ...If Donald Trump doesn't run he takes away that corrective action of history and therefore his presidency is whole and unjudged if he just doesn't run again." 
Certainly not for women, or Americans of color, or children, or gay men, or religious minorities. In the bygone days that Trump harkens back to, it wasn't so great to be anything but a straight white Christian male. Trump, of course, doesn't specify when, exactly, America was "great," but at no point in history was this country a better place to live as a female citizen, or a black one, or a very young one, than now. The establishment of the republic? We have "Founding Fathers" for a reason: Men (white ones) were the only ones in charge. Women couldn't vote or own property, and they lost their individual rights when they married, since they were legally absorbed into their husbands. Women couldn't enter into contracts on their own but were still automatically liable for their husbands' debts. White landowners, including many of the Founders, owned and enslaved blacks, who were not only ripped from their homes and forced into servitude, but routinely beaten, raped, and resold away from their families. There's also the small detail that American land was stolen from Native Americans, many of whom were murdered directly or killed off by new germs early on in the European settlement of the United States, and who saw their communities torn apart not just by early American wars but by centuries of colonization and land-grabs.
Trump would eventually abandon dog whistles in favor of blunter race-baiting. What remains to be seen is whether he and the Republican establishment will continue flashing the “exceptionalism” signal in the post-Obama years—to paint new opponents as un-American—or whether that language was uniquely deployed to delegitimize the nation’s first black president. At the very least, it provided fertile ground for Trumpism.
Mr. Fleiss and other TV producers have watched — equal parts entranced and horrified — as Mr. Trump has taken the gimmicks of reality TV that he picked up on “The Apprentice” and applied them to daily governance. Flip comparisons of Mr. Trump’s White House and his years on “The Apprentice” abound, but behind the “You’re fired!” jokes is a serious case study in mass viewing habits and a president who has made up for his lack of experience in governing with an uncanny grasp of must-see TV.
And yet, in the 1980s, there were still limits to what needed to be said about America. Surveying the planet, you didn’t yet have to refer to us as the “greatest” country of all or as the planet’s sole truly “exceptional” country. Think of such repeated superlatives of our own moment as defensive markers on the declinist slope. The now commonplace adjective “indispensable” as a stand-in for American greatness globally, for instance, didn’t even arrive until Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, began using it in 1996. It only became an indispensable part of the rhetorical arsenal of American politicians, from President Obama on down, a decade-plus into the 21st century when the country’s eerie dispensability (unless you were a junkie for failed states and regional chaos) became ever more apparent.
I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called “Never Trump conservatives,” voting for President Trump in 2020. I have inevitably concluded at times that Trump would do something to push me away from him. He has not disappointed on that front from tariffs to character issues. But now I do not see how anyone else can offer a more compelling alternative to the President. Each time the President does something I do not like, his opponents play a game of “hold my beer.”
Jump up ^ Melby, Caleb (July 19, 2016). "Trump Is Richer in Property and Deeper in Debt in New Valuation". Bloomberg News. In the year that Donald Trump was transformed ... into the presumptive Republican nominee, the value of his golf courses and his namesake Manhattan tower soared ... His net worth rose to $3 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ...

In 1978, Trump launched his Manhattan real estate business by purchasing a 50 percent stake in the derelict Commodore Hotel, located next to Grand Central Terminal. The purchase was funded largely by a $70 million construction loan that was guaranteed jointly by Fred Trump and the Hyatt hotel chain.[82][113] When the remodeling was finished, the hotel reopened in 1980 as the Grand Hyatt Hotel.[114]
Is Trump instead harkening back to World War II, when the "greatest generation" went to fight in Europe and the Pacific theater, and women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers? Even then, women were paid at half the rate of men, and were swiftly removed from the workforce when the men came home. Very few were able to attend college. African-Americans, many of whom fought in the war, continued to live as second-class citizens under segregationist policies across the South. Japanese-Americans were locked up in internment camps.
Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, first immigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 and became a citizen in 1892.[20] He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush.[20] On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple permanently settled in New York in 1905.[21] Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.[22]
Trump signaled his intention to run for a second term by filing with the FEC within hours of assuming the presidency.[772] This transformed his 2016 election committee into a 2020 reelection one.[773] Trump marked the official start of the campaign with a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on February 18, 2017, less than a month after taking office.[774] By January 2018, Trump's reelection committee had $22 million in hand[775] and it had raised a total amount exceeding $50 million towards the 2020 campaign as of July 2018.[776]
In 1987 Trump spent almost $100,000 (equivalent to $215,407 in 2017) to place full-page advertisements in three major newspapers, proclaiming that "America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves."[350] The advertisements also advocated for "reducing the budget deficit, working for peace in Central America, and speeding up nuclear disarmament negotiations with the Soviet Union."[351] After rumors of a presidential run, Trump was invited by Democratic senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, House Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, and Arkansas congressman Beryl Anthony Jr., to host a fundraising dinner for Democratic Congressional candidates and to switch parties. Anthony told The New York Times that "the message Trump has been preaching is a Democratic message." Asked whether the rumors were true, Trump denied being a candidate, but said, "I believe that if I did run for President, I'd win."[351] According to a Gallup poll in December 1988, Trump was the tenth most admired man in America.[352][353]
In January 2017, American intelligence agencies—the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA, represented by the Director of National Intelligence—jointly stated with "high confidence" that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to favor the election of Trump.[697][698] In March 2017, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that "the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."[699] Later, in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, he affirmed he has "no doubt" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, adding "they did it with purpose and sophistication".[700]
If she runs, Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, would instantaneously be the Democrats’ putative front-runner. Her anti-corporate agenda has made her a fund-raising powerhouse, and she seems to have found an ideological sweet spot between the centrist Clinton and populist Sanders factions. Additionally, thanks to the “Nevertheless she persisted” meme, she’s become a feminist heroine.
In 2013, Trump was a featured CPAC speaker.[369] In a sparsely-attended speech, he railed against illegal immigration while seeming to encourage immigration from Europe, bemoaned Obama's "unprecedented media protection", advised against harming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and suggested that the government "take" Iraq's oil and use the proceeds to pay a million dollars each to families of dead soldiers.[370][371] He spent over $1 million that year to research a possible 2016 candidacy.[372]
Once upon a time, in a distant America, the words “greatest,” “exceptional,” and “indispensable” weren’t even part of the political vocabulary. American presidents didn’t bother to claim any of them for this country, largely because American wealth and global preeminence were so indisputable. We’re talking about the 1950s and early 1960s, the post-World War II and pre-Vietnam “golden” years of American power. Despite a certain hysteria about the supposed dangers of domestic communists, few Americans then doubted the singularly unchallengeable power and greatness of the country. It was such a given, in fact, that it was simply too self-evident for presidents to cite, hail, or praise.
Or what about Oprah Winfrey? She’s dipped her toe into politics before, backing Mr. Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries. And after the conservative columnist John Podhoretz recently called her the Democrats’ best hope in 2020 (“If you need to set a thief to catch a thief, you need a star — a grand, outsized, fearless star whom Trump can neither intimidate nor outshine — to catch a star”), Ms. Winfrey seemed open to the idea. She tweeted the article with the message to Mr. Podhoretz: “Thanks for your vote of confidence!”
Of course, don’t furl the flag or shut down those offshore accounts or start writing the complete history of American decline quite yet. After all, the United States still looms “lone” on an ever more chaotic planet. Its wealth remains stunning, its economic clout something to behold, its tycoons the envy of the Earth, and its military beyond compare when it comes to how much and how destructively, even if not how successfully. Still, make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a harbinger, however bizarre, of a new American century in which this country will indeed no longer be (with a bow to Muhammad Ali) “the Greatest” or, for all but a shrinking crew, exceptional.

Jump up ^ "Intelligence Report on Russian Hacking". The New York Times. January 6, 2017. p. ii. Retrieved January 8, 2017. We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.


O'Halleran faces a tight race in Arizona's 1st Congressional District against Republican Wendy Rogers, who was not included at the Mesa rally. Trump won that district by 1 percentage point in 2016 and O'Halleran has supported Trump 54 percent of the time where the administration's legislative preference is known, according to figures tracked by the website FiveThirtyEight.
Prior to 2008, “American exceptionalism” appeared in news articles a handful of times a year, but after Obama was elected the references skyrocketed, largely because of a drumbeat from Republicans. Once the tea party wave made John Boehner speaker of the House in 2010, for example, he summarized the growing consensus among Republicans: Obama had turned his back on the Founding Fathers to the point where he “refused to talk about American exceptionalism.” (In fact, in 2009 the president had stated, “I believe in American exceptionalism.”) The phrase’s popularity in GOP talking points—often in attacks on Obama’s “socialist” policies—paralleled the spread of conspiracy theories about his citizenship and supposed jihadi sympathies.
Trump officially filed his reelection campaign with the FEC on January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration.[19][20][21][22] Trump launched his reelection campaign earlier in his presidency than his predecessors did. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan all declared their candidacies for reelection in the third year of their presidencies.[23][24] Trump filed the papers for his reelection campaign approximately 47 months prior to the date of the election.[23] In contrast, both Reagan and George H. W. Bush filed approximately twelve months, George W. Bush filed approximately eighteen, and both Clinton and Obama filed approximately nineteen months prior to the date of the election.[23]
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