Graham Plaster Posted over 1 year ago While American exceptionalism is a lightning rod issue, we may be able to find some common ground asking simply, "what makes America great?" Perhaps you are right if we take the word "exceptional" to mean superior in all or most aspects - but that is not the crux of this conversation. The initial question was about particular great qualities in America and does not require those qualities to be exclusive. Let's assume for a minute that all countries in the world are great because they have achieved national sovereignty - a worthy achievement, and a great baseline for acknowledging the great qualities of any nation. Beyond sovereignty, what great contributions do various countries bring to the world as members of our global community? While America may be weak in many areas, the question at hand is about America's strengths. If you were to say simply that America is a "great" exporter of entertainment, that might be one example, but would obviously shine a light on the fact that our entertainment often casts us in the worst possible light. So then the question is partially, what are the highest and best functions of America in the global community? We give the most out of any other country to UN Peacekeeping - some would call this a great thing.