Americans will not find it difficult to give up the feeling of chosenness and superiority in case the situation pushes them. The space for missionary-style democratization initiatives will sharply narrow in a post-ideological world guided by pragmatism. Mankind will stop perceiving democracy as a uniquely American feature.
The U.S. State Department has advised travelers of a heightened terrorism threat, and warned tourists against stating their nationality in public or wearing any clothes that might indicate that they are American. There is, however, evidence that the threat is being overstated.
But things have not gone quite according to Putin’s plan. A number of Western politicians began talking about the need to boycott the Sochi Games – arguably over Russia’s “anti-gay propaganda” legislation – and indeed a number of VIPs have refused to go to the Olympics.
The cosmetic nature of Obama’s reforms is not really down to his desire to stay on good terms with the intelligence community. Neither is he especially keen to keep all Americans under close surveillance. This is more likely a matter of simply accepting the reality.