I don’t completely understand- if it is not the people of America, and it is not the government of…
Zeke Rucker

You’re still on the false premise that to be exceptional means to be alone. More than one can be and are exceptional. So, it’s both the people and the government of “America” (used in that way the term ignores the rest of the continent’s people), along with the people and government of France, Canada, et al that have the _potential_ to be exceptional if allowed to flourish and grow as individuals. Exceptionalism is not automatic but must be earned and can be lost.

Trump’s entire campaign is based on the concept that America was exceptional, is not now and can be again, but only if we elect him to save us. So, while I can accept the fact that we are losing our exceptionalism in some ways, I also refuse him as the savior of that exceptionalism and reject his methods and solutions. In addition, I also maintain that we have become MORE exceptional in other ways, and to accept Trump’s form of governing would be to lose not just those gains, but would result in Venezuelan levels of defeat and loss.

As for the Declaration of Independence, it is the first document of our republic. It is the charter of our nation, our reason for being, our foundation. First the Articles of Confederation and then the Constitution were/are our bylaws or how that charter is brought to reality. We can change the Constitution and have, but we can never change the Declaration of Independence. However, we can are are ‘reinterpreting it’ out of relevance, which undermines our foundation.