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The Chosen People and American Exceptionalism

Americans are exceptional in many ways but perhaps their greatest exceptional characteristic is their neighborliness. Americans are a private people dedicated to the proposition that all homes are created equal no matter the customs, rituals, and beliefs that guide and comprise them. In dealing with his neighbor, the American follows the rule: Be cheerful and helpful, be polite, and leave my neighbor alone to his home.
But in leaving one’s neighbors alone, Americans don’t simply forget about them. If those strange customs, rituals, and beliefs enrich and cultivate a neighbor’s home, then they are worthy of respect, even if we know nothing about them. Our neighbor might dance round the fire with his young children nine times each night before bed or eat a birthday cake every day while running five miles each morning. This might even worry us a bit and make us clutch at the curtains or peer out

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