By Peggie Duggan
Exactly who is responsible for explaining the United States to the rest of the world? Perhaps, more importantly, who is responsible for explaining the United States to her own people? The answers are the U.S. Department of State and nobody, respectively. As Dr. Phil would say, “How is that working for you?”
On a forgotten day, buried in the Congressional Record, one senator stood up and said,
Our country, I think we can all admit, has experienced a tremendous decline in international respect since 1943. At the end of World War II, due both to our leadership toward victory and to an accumulation of international prestige built over the decade, this country occupied an enviable stance.
It was liked, admired, and trusted to a degree even by conquered nations, and we had the one great Military Establishment intact in the whole world.
Now what has happened? Why has the world deteriorated? You can’t point your finger of blame at any individual or any individual policy. But when that kind of historic demonstration is before us, it seems to me that alert Americans ought to ask themselves why and what can we do about it?
This country today is being popularly blamed by much of the politically conscious population of the world for a great share of the misfortunes of the world…
Something is wrong with American policy. There is nothing wrong with American attitudes, nothing wrong with the American ideal, nothing wrong with the basic concept that we provide a lot of foreign aid and leadership and help the free world get stronger…Nobody really believes we are imperialistic. Nobody really believes we are trying to superimpose any religious creed or a political philosophy on anybody.
We do this out of an abundance of good will and out of some impulse of self-preservation, and we get attacked.