Eminent Modern American Philosopher Kevin Baker, who blogs at The Smallest Minority, brought it into focus for me more clearly than its ever been with this single statement:
My point is HUMANITY does sucky things. Americans are not exempt, but we’re treated as though we are supposed to be and failed and should be ashamed of that failure. What we’ve actually done on the side of good is extraordinary. What we’ve done on the side of evil is at worst, ordinary.