I've often noted that one of the reason's I beleive so strongly in Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press and the Right to Dissent, is that I was taught in school that those were the very things that made us great in comparison to the Soviet Union. It was standard issue, schoolroom indoctrination but it made a lot of sense and I took it seriously at the time.
Now since the collape of the Soviet Union, it seems that our own standards of conduct have taken a significant turn for the worse. How many times have we seen idiots defend the worst of our abuses by noting "Oh yeah, well at least we don't behead people and then post the video on the internet!"
Do people not realize that if we take on all the worst attributes of our enemies, then we know longer need the enemies, we can represent evil all by ourselves?
The shorthand term is 'American exceptionalism', but the amount of denial and self-inflicted blindness that it takes to maintin the illusion of our righteousness boggles the mind.