E. Thomas McClanahan cites President Obama's comment that he believes in American exceptionalism just as the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism to suggest that the president does not think that the United States has been a unique force for good in the world ("Exceptionally good politics," Thursday).

It is true that, despite its shortcomings, the United States has been a beacon and a model for freedom and democracy throughout its history. However, not everything good in the world somehow derives from the United States.

The concept of democracy originated with the ancient Greeks and not with the Founding Fathers. The English Magna Carta was a precursor to our Constitution, and the writings of the English philosopher John Locke inspired Thomas Jefferson when he penned the Declaration of Independence.

U.S. citizens are not the only people who have a right to be patriotic. Great Britain, Greece, and others have contributed much to the world, and they are justified in taking pride in those accomplishments.

Bill Fanshel

Bryn Mawr