I am often asked how the world has changed since I got involved in politics. If I were to try to answer the question with one word, the word would be intensity. Everything, it seems, has become more intense.
What does it mean to be an American? I suspect each of us would answer this question in our own way, depending on our experiences. But there are features of the American identity, certain qualities of what it means to be an American that many of us hold in common.
You can get a sense of the sweep of American politics and history by identifying a few of the indispensable men in our country’s history.
Over my years in public life, I conducted many hearings that included comments from members of the public. I remember well that people often said when asserting a claim: “It’s my right as an American citizen.”
Like most of my fellow citizens, I’m proud to be an American. As we celebrate Independence Day and reflect on our nation’s history and heritage, we are pleased to identify with the United States and to stand with our country against its competitors and adversaries.
Globalization has transformed our planet, again and again. It touches every part of our lives: the food we eat, the entertainment we enjoy, the ways we communicate, the products we buy. For many of us, it shapes the way we earn a living in an increasingly connected and interdependent world.
Looking back over the years that I’ve been involved with foreign policy; I find it noteworthy that policymakers spend so much time and attention on the Middle East. It has only 3% of the world’s population and is not particularly wealthy or powerful, but the world watches and is often fixated there.
We Americans have long prided ourselves on offering a safe haven to people seeking refuge from conflict and repression. The theme is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
The phrase “the common good” and its importance in our history has always impressed me. I’ve been wondering about the history of the idea: where it comes from, what it means and the impact it has. The concept goes back a long way.
Our national security experts confront many threats to order and stability in the world. In this column, I touch on a few of the most urgent of them.