“The real promise of American life,” he insisted, was to be found in “the hope that a self-governing republic can serve as a source of moral and political inspiration to the rest of the world, not as the center of a new world empire."I think this encapsulates what we nearer the progressive end of the spectrum find so lacking in the right-wing worldview - this argument of theirs that the U.S. must simultaneously serve as the sole template for every nation (enforced with gun or tank or missile if necessary), while at the same time trouncing the notion that the U.S. must engage with other nations at any other cooperative level - as in the repeated calls to opt out of the United Nations organization.
It's an impulse at cross purposes, to in one motion be the imprint and in the same motion to step back completely.
Bacevich, in conclusion, gets it absolutely right:
Promising prosperity and peace, the Washington rules are propelling the United States toward insolvency and perpetual war. Over the horizon a shipwreck of epic proportions awaits. To acknowledge the danger we face is to make learning -- and perhaps even a course change -- possible. To willfully ignore the danger is to become complicit in the destruction of what most Americans profess to hold dear.