On Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, host Megyn Kelly continued her series of interviews with former Weather Underground ringleader Bill Ayers.
The latest installment featured Kelly moderating a debate between Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza, the filmmaker behind the film “America,” over the United States’ role in the world and whether or not that role is for good or for bad.
Ayers dismissed the idea of “American exceptionalism,” arguing that Americans are only one people and touting that exceptionalism can be a bad thing.
“I’m not proud to be an American and I don’t buy the American exceptionalism at all,” Ayers said. “And the reason I’m not proud to be an American is because the damage that we do around the world is so serious and so ongoing so if you look anywhere in the world — look all through Latin America, ordinary people on the street admire Cuba for one reason, they stood up to America, they stood up to kind of imperial advances.”
“I often think about the good, but I wouldn’t call myself an American exceptionalist,” he continued. “And I would challenge that in anybody because I’m a human being. I believe we should be struggling with the question, ‘What does it mean to be human in the 21st century? What is it that’s required of us? We are all human. America is 5 percent of the world’s population. We should think of ourselves as a people among people, not as an exceptional people because as soon as you say actions that are done by us versus other people are different based on who does them.”
D’Souza responded to Ayers argument by pointing how the United States has been reluctant to flex its muscle as a world superpower for its own gain, unlike he said other nations might, which lends itself to the notion that America is exceptional.
“Exceptionalism doesn’t mean a different moral standard apply applies. By and large foreigners who come to America, going all the ways way back to de Tocqueville – I’ve grown up in a different culture. I know America is exceptional because I see things in America that you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world,” D’Souza said. “Right now if you took the power that America has as the world’s sole superpower and you gave it to Russia, or you gave it to China, they would use it far more expansively, more brutally and more to gain themselves. America is benign in the way it exercises its power. The American idea of wealth creation is being embraced in India, in China, all over the world. It’s lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. So ironically this American formula that we are moving away from at home under Obama is being enthusiastically embraced all around the world.”
The remainder of the debate between Ayers and D’Souza is set to air Friday on the Fox News Channel.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor