The term American Exceptionalism is being waved about like a weapon in the current political unpleasantness. Originally, the term referred to the belief that the USA's special mission was to spread democracy by serving as an example, by being a 'shining city on the hill' that other countries would choose to emulate.
That seems innocent enough -- if one overlooks the fact that said shining city was founded on land stolen from the original owners and built, in great part, by the labor of enslaved Africans. And that this vaunted democracy only included the white males -- in some cases only the property holders. Not all that great a model but it was, for the 18th Century, better than most others.
Unfortunately, over time the idea of American Exceptionalism has morphed into something far more insidious -- the belief that the USA has a God-given superiority and an equally God-given right to interfere in the affairs of other countries. (This article on the subject is well worth reading.)
In the current political climate, where candidates are judged on whether or not they wear American flag pins and a gold-medal winning gymnast is criticized on Fox News for wearing pink instead of red, white, and blue and the same commentator goes on to lament that we've lost, not that loving feeling, but that 'jingoistic' feeling (jingoistic is defined as 'extreme nationalism marked by an aggressive foreign policy')-- well, sometimes I just have to take exception to this foolishness.
And hope that there are still enough reasonable folks in my country that we will eventually fulfill the dream of the shining city on the hill. Because we sure as hell aren't there yet.