America's Mission

In America's Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century, Tony Smith writes that America should be aggressive for democracy like Woodrow Wilson was who said American foreign policy was "to make the world safe for democracy. "After the Cold War, Bush and Clinton rightly have spoken forcefully for America to be world leaders and help the cause of democracy.

He quotes President Bush saying in December 15, 1992: "History's lesson is clear. When a war-weary America withdrew from the international stage following World War I, the world spawned militarism, fascism, and aggression unchecked, plunging mankind into another devastating conflict. But in answering the call to lead after World War II, we built from the principles of democracy and the rule of law a new community of free nations, a community whose strength, perseverance, patience, and unity of purpose contained Soviet totalitarianism and kept the peace.

"No society, no continent should be disqualified from sharing the ideals of human liberty. The community of democratic nations is more robust than ever, and it will gain strength as it grows .... abandonment of the worldwide democratic revolution could be disastrous for American security.

"History is summoning us once again to lead."

Bush is right to say this.

Dream of democracies

Clinton said on September 27, 1993: "In a new era of peril and opportunity, our overriding purpose must be to expand and strengthen the world's community of market-based democracies. During the Cold War, we fought to contain a threat to the survival of free institutions. Now we seek to enlarge the circle of nations that live under those free institutions, for our dream is that of a day when the opinions and energies of every person in the world will be given full expression in a world of thriving democracies that cooperate with each other and live in peace."

Bush and Clinton are tuned into God's will in saying such strong words for democracy. Bush said in his inaugural address: "Great nations of the world are moving toward democracy through the door of freedom. Men and women of the world move toward free markets through the door of prosperity. The people of the world agitate for free expression and free thought through the door to the moral and intellectual satisfactions that only liberty allows. We know what works: freedom works. We know what's right: freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state."

"America is never wholly herself unless she engages in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today, to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world."

Bush's Secretary of State was James Baker. Smith writes that Baker was a pragmatist but also "a committed liberal democratic internationalist. As he put it at his Senate confirmation hearings early in 1989, 'the only sure guide' for American foreign policy was 'the compass of American ideals and values -- freedom, democracy, equal rights, respect for human dignity, fair play -- the principles to which I adhere: I believe in freedom for the individual because it's a God-given right and the source of human creativity. The Founders of our country recognized that such freedom was preserved best by limited government -- the checks and balances system that still provides the framework for our success ... economic freedom, the free market system, is an essential part of the framework. Finally and above all, I believe, like Lincoln, that the United States has a special role in this world, a special contribution to make -- as he put it, 'the last, best hope of earth.'"

Smith writes that Bush was for a "Wilsonian world order .... democracy would expand worldwide." Bush said at the United Nations in 1989: "Make no mistake. Nothing can stand in the way of freedom's march. There will come a day when freedom in seen the world over to be a universal birthright of every man and woman, of every race and walk of life .... today is freedom's moment. You see, the possibility now exists for the creation of a true community of nations built on shared interests and ideals."

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