And I realized that's why American music sounds so optimistic; it's because this country is unique in that regard, that people actually do believe that tomorrow could be better here.Mark O'Connor is a great musician and an okay composer, but does he really believe, really, that citizens of the United States of America are the only people in the world who believe that the material circumstances of their lives can improve over some period of time? I laugh at America's staggering proliferation of exceptionalisms, but I suppose I have always taken these sorts of statements as banal rhetorical excess. And yet . . . perhaps because of all the Euro-bashing in the news lately, it slowly occurs to me that, yes, many Americans, even those who have traveled abroad, are so toweringly ignorant that they believe this little strophe to be literally true: that only Americans, solely and uniquely among all peoples currently living, perhaps solely and uniquely among all the peoples ever to have existed on this world, believe in the betterment of their lives and station . . . believe in the mere possibility of bettering their lives and station.
Although not given to naive pronouncements, nor yet to rhetorical incredulity, I gotta say: this, if true, explains a lot.