American power confers benefits on most inhabitants of the planet, even on many who dislike it and some who actively oppose it, because the United States plays a major, constructive, and historically unprecedented role in the world.
Our attitude toward our own culture has recently been characterized by two qualities, braggadocio and petulance. Braggadocio - empty boasting of American power, American virtue, American know-how - has dominated our foreign relations now for some decades. Here at home - within the family, so to speak - our attitude to our culture expresses a superficially different spirit, the spirit of petulance. Never before, perhaps, has a culture been so fragmented into groups, each full of its own virtue, each annoyed and irritated at the others.
The realization that American power could and should be used for the defense of pluralism and as a punishment for fascism came to me in Sarajevo a year or two later... That was an early quarrel between me and many of my Nation colleagues, and it was also the first time I found myself in the same trench as people like Paul Wolfowitz and Jeane Kirkpatrick: a shock I had to learn to get over. The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.
If I were doing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member, the United States, because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world. All international laws are invalid, meaningless attempts to constrict American power.
The American people are extraordinarily comfortable, affluent, and secure. It's easy for us to make the argument that God's purpose is being fulfilled through history and through the rise of American power. And to some degree, it probably is.
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people... it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other...
The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.