Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America’s] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
That thought was put into a closet by Teddy Roosevelt, and the closet door was nailed shut by Woodrow Wilson--a notorious racist and, like TR, a Progressive, or 'benevolent fascist' in the words of Jonah Goldberg.
Think about that.
What do we see today? The Progressives have (seemingly) won the battle.
There's a cross-ideological movement that's not represented on the cable news networks or the small range of opinion that you see from the New Republic to The Weekly Standard. There seems to be a meeting of the minds that maybe this isn't what America is supposed to be. Maybe she's just supposed to set a good example for the world.
In the 19th century, that's what everyone assumed. Henry Clay was voicing that when he said, in effect, 'We're not doing the world any good when we bankrupt ourselves fighting wars all over the place. We will extinguish the great beacon that we are.' He said we need to unfurl the banner of freedom here and show the world how it's done. But ultimately other people have to fight for their own freedom.Maybe the responsible thing to do is NOT to take responsibilities which are not ours.