Trust and distrust are fundamental ingredients of representative democracy.
Seventy-five years ago, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing an end to World War II and sounding a warning about the devastating power of nuclear weapons.
American foreign policy goes back to the late 1700s, when Benjamin Franklin lobbied France to support the colonies in their fight for independence from the British.
The United States has pulled back from global leadership since 2017, when President Donald Trump took office with a slogan of “America First”.
This is an election year, so we can expect a fresh round of China-bashing. American politicians love to use China as a punching bag; it never stops, really, but the trend accelerates when candidates are running for office.
The United States is the most powerful country in the world. By any measure, we are preeminent. We have challenges and vulnerabilities, and we are not as dominant as we once were, but no one else comes close to America’s military, economic and political might.
We are living in a time when the limits of American power are being severely tested. Our adversaries are watching closely. They see us withdrawing from our longstanding leadership role. Eager to fill the vacuum, they are looking for ways to gain leverage, to challenge our strengths and exploit our weaknesses.
Discouraging news surrounds us. It’s hard to hide from. It’s in the newspapers, on television and radio, and on the internet. Our nation is divided, and our politics are polarized. We are torn apart by disagreements over immigration and by racial divisions. A pandemic has killed over 100,000 Americans and hobbled the economy. Health care… Read more »
For decades after WWII, the U.S. stood across the world as a mighty colossus. We were the richest and strongest nation, and our history and institutions were the envy of all.
Not long ago I was asked by several students for my thoughts on the outstanding characteristics of good politicians. What follows is my response: