If the United States hopes to provide constructive global leadership in the Twenty-First Century, no matter who is the next US President, it must start by building strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with its neighbors. After all, the US cannot hope to lead on a global scale, unless it can do so in its own hemisphere. Unfortunately, the Americas have experienced a cycle of abusive interference and negligent disengagement under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The harms done by an erratic, often self-serving US has forced many in the Americas to believe they are better off without US involvement.
While the United States has used its superpower status in a more benign manner than past imperial powers would have, the US Empire created many problems and many more grievances around the world by suppressing the interests of weaker nations and their Peoples. This is particularly true in the Middle East and South America. In places like Venezuela and Brazil, for example, US business interests have done little out of enriching the already affluent and exploiting the Peoples while the US government demonstrates a lack respect for the public policy and leadership choices of these Peoples when they have conflicted with US interests.
US global leadership was pivotal in the creation of the relativity peaceful, stable, and prosperous International Community. Where the US was once the hegemonic ruler of this Twentieth Century world order, the International Community has become a democratizing forum of democratizing nations. Not only are more people throughout the world pressing for more responsive governance and greater representation within their own nation, governments around the world are pushing back against foreign influence of world powers like the US as well as international governance in general.
Unfortunately, the more people and governments assert their interests, the more opportunities there are for conflicts to arise. Without some kind of leadership to modulate such conflicts of interests and help broker some sort of viable resolution, these flashpoints are more likely to explode into serious conflicts. Clearly, this is a threat to global peace and stability. Regrettably, the Twentieth Century world order was forged during the Cold War by forcing nations to choose between US or Soviet dominance. A Twentieth Century-First world order must be forged by addressing the interests of weak and strong countries alike.
At the onslaught of the 2011 Arab Spring Revolutions, the Obama Administration was paralyzed. The US could not choose between the overwhelming force of the democratic movement and the security of the oppressive, negligent dictators who were longtime allies of the United States. Where US influence in the region had been forced onto the Peoples of the Middle by strengthening of brutal leadership, which thoroughly rejected American values, the post-Arab Spring Revolution Middle East requires an effort to recognize and address the interests of the Peoples across the region.
Just like the Middle East, inept, corrupt, and unresponsive government has pushed the Peoples of the Americas to a breaking point. Between economic policies, which enrich the already affluent by fostering poverty for the masses, and dysfunctional governments, which do not serve the interests of the majority, the Peoples of the Americas are being forced to assert their interests by any means possible. With widespread conflict brewing throughout the Americas, US leadership, which respects foreign governments as sovereign powers and the interests of their Peoples above all, is needed to properly address and balance these interests in order to avoid destabilizing conflicts. It is also the only way for the US to maintain its status as a global leader.
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