The last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking out loud with you about the most famous lines from Democracy in America that Alexis de Tocqueville never wrote.
Alexis de Tocqueville did NOT observe that “America is great because America is good,” but that has not stopped a host of politicians and pundits from putting those words in his mouth. The line has been a favorite of speechwriters since the Eisenhower administration. Just last week Hillary Clinton worked it into her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and on the Republican side of things, Eric Metaxas claimed in his just-released book If You Can Keep It that the line is a “brilliant summation” of Tocqueville’s belief. The claim seems to be everywhere.
Am I imagining things, or are there echoes of Tocqueville’s spurious declaration in Chobani’s new ad campaign timed to coincide with the summer Olympics? Kudos to my daughter Callie for noticing the ad below at the supermarket yesterday.