This qutation from Herman Melville explains about many things that happenned years after him, both in America and in the world. I can not read it without thinking about Superman and G. W. Bush.
And we Americans are peculiar, chosen people -- the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world ... Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether, indeed, the political Messiah had come. But he has come in us, if we would but give utterance to his promptings."
--Herman Melville, White-Jacket (1850)