On America's Global Role

Having eliminated the threat of global communism, America entered the 21st century soaring. With a towering economy (though shaken during Reagan’s presidency), rising businesses large and small, and continuing happiness, America was at its prime for a decade. Nevertheless, after the tragic attacks on 9/11, America has changed its role in the world. Once a hesitant diplomat in the Cold War finding a way to ease tensions and create peace, now a belligerent in the international community striving to promote human rights by using words and guns, America’s global role is imminent. However, when it comes to its own ruined economy, with great unemployment rates to lofty gas prices, America’s foreign policy should be put down for the time being to protect and heal its own interior—the people and its economy.

With our fragile economy, capricious like a true roller-coaster, America should not be intrigued at world affairs, at least for the now. It cannot involve itself into affairs like Libya’s or Syria’s, while the common citizen is suffering because of expensive gas prices. Some families go to bed starving, other go to bed jobless. One out of four children doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from, and the unemployment rate for 2011 is at 9.2%. We cannot worry about revolutionary fathers in Libya while fathers here at home are struggling to keep up with America’s flying economy.

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We cannot worry about grievous mothers in Norway while mothers here at home are struggling to create food for her family. We cannot worry about scared children in Syria while children here at home are distracted by their family’s state, not to mention the state of America itself! I am not saying that America should completely shun the outside world. I am saying that America needs to focus, with most of its attention, to the struggling populace here at home, to our hurt and delicate economy. We are entering another recession. What can we do differently so that after the upcoming recession we don’t have another one? How can we create jobs for the jobless and those in poverty? How can we help those in poverty? How can we reduce our debt? These are tough questions, do not underestimate me.

These are questions that can bewilder anyone. But the government should be mostly concentrated on these questions, and many more unlisted, so that America can recover from its damaged state it is in. There is no need to maintain a high-level Cold War military because we no longer have a major adversary. Instead, we should find ways to protect us at home from future terrorist attacks, so 9/11 does not repeat itself. And we should find ways to do that without sending troops halfway across the world to destroy local regimes.

We have no place for our troops in the Middle East now. Al-Qaeda is almost dead. All we need to do now is to protect ourselves from any other attacks of American soil, while working endlessly to heal our broken economy. In today’s world, the strength of the American economy is the real source of the nation’s long-term security. The time for retaliation has past. The time for recovery has come.

Our needs at home are infinitely more important than those of the world, and require more resources and brainpower and words than we are currently devoting them. America was created as a republic, a nation, not as an empire that concentrates its strength by military force. We are not to be used as a tool that deals with foreign affairs. Our troops are not dolls that we can just send anywhere. America has needs as well, and in these times those needs are vital for the survival of our nation.

Our economy is slowly falling into the abyss, into another recession. Our government needs to find ways to avoid having recessions after the next, and that is substantially more important than any other thing that the world holds. It is necessary that we heal our own nation before healing others. A recent poll showed that preventing terrorism and creating and protecting jobs should be America’s primary interests. I agree.

We used to be the most powerful nation on the planet, both militarily and economically, and I respect the fact that other nations should look to us for leadership. I admire America’s leadership in the global society. But now it is not America’s turn for leadership. America cannot continue to lead the international community when it cannot lead its neighborhood community. America was created to promote democracy, and that is acceptable. We must speak out against tyrants and kings; we must speak out in support of human rights activists and revolutionaries against tyranny, but we cannot devote ourselves to the world when we are struggling.

We cannot continue to entangle ourselves in the problems of other nations, when we are entangled in our own problems. If worldwide problems do not affect America’s interests and attack our morals, we must not engage in them by sending troops across the ocean to fight in other nations’ wars. The chief threat that America faces is domestic conflict, with America weakened by not spending enough on first-rate schools, human services, and help for those who live in poverty. We have issues of our own here at America, and we should devote our time and thinking to them, not on events across the world.