"The ideology of American exceptionalism holds that the Founders of the United States were the most brilliant individuals who ever lived and that the future prosperity and power of the country are to be attributed chiefly to the genius of the federal constitution, drafted in 1787 in Philadelphia (never mind that this was the second U.S. Constitution, replacing the first, the Articles of Confederation, a miserable failure). In the same way that Bible-thumping fundamentalists insist that all of the answers to all of today’s problems can be found in the Good Book, American exceptionalists thump the Federalist Papers. If the history that followed the American founding provides any guidance to us today, it is only the subsequent history of the United States itself. As good American exceptionalists, we are not allowed to peep beyond our borders, to learn from the successes and mistakes of people in other countries.
"Americans have always been proud of their republic--but not too proud to learn from others."
Michael Lind in Salon questions right-wing views of American exceptionalism.