Let me play you the song of my people.
Over the weekend, the Earth’s magnetic field was struck by a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME — a vast bubble of solar plasma that had erupted from the sun on Jan. 19 — took longer than expected to travel through interplanetary space, but on Sunday it made contact.
Midst the steadily rising political climate, TIME Ideas’ blogger Jon Meacham shares his perspective on America’s roots and how they truly characterize the U.S. as a nation in his article, “Are Americans Really that Exceptional?” He provides insight into how past leaders viewed and shaped the nation’s ever-changing global identity. Full text from Meacham’s article:
“In the beginning — before the beginning, really — Americans have thought of themselves as exceptional, as the new chosen people of God. Either before departing England or en route aboard the Arabella — it is unclear which; the ship arrived in 1630 — John Winthrop, a layman trained as a lawyer, wrote a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity” in which he said “we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world …”
The “city upon a hill” phrase — Winthrop borrowed it from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount — echoes still. (It is interesting to note that only Ronald Reagan could improve on Jesus in terms of communication: it was Reagan who added the modifier “shining” to the image.) In a recent Pew poll, when asked if they agreed with the statement “Our people are not perfect but our culture is superior others,” 49% of Americans said yes, compared to 32% of Britons and 27% of French.
Really cool, mellow, introspective track remix of Peter Broderick’s “And It’s Alright” (Nils Frahm RMX)