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By Staff | Dec 16, 2016

Since WWII the U.S. has willingly contributed much more to world development in all forms than the world had any ability to repay. That is what made us so different than any other conquering victor throughout human history.

It is what made America exceptional. We functioned as the world’s security force, patrolling sea lanes, trying to limit genocides and functioning as the referee or official overseeing all the games being played around the world. We were not always successful, but no others were willing to step up or were capable of doing so that could perform the role.

The United Nations was dysfunctional. The world would be one helluva lot worse place today were it not for USA’s involvement in the development of the human race. No one has ever called us a perfect democracy, but the world still looked to us as the example, setting positive benchmarks for others.

When there are refugees or displaced persons created from world turmoil, America is typically first on their list as the place to find protection and new opportunity (Canada is second). America has always been receptive.

Americans accepted their role as lead world citizens and the cost that this weighed on them in terms of treasure and blood. When the bad people come, a lot of good people in the world always look to Americans to save them because no one else is going to. While American actions benefited the world it also benefited the U.S.

When there is a financial disruption in the global economy the U.S. dollar has been considered as good or better than gold. Our institutions have been shared with the world. How many foreign political, business and academic leaders were educated in the U.S?

Has the world taken advantage of us? Darn right they have. There is a lot of freeloading, but if the train is going somewhere on our business, there is often little/no cost for giving others a seat or space on the train. We own the train and the train can either create goodwill in the world for the U.S. or by denying others access, makes enemies for no reason.

The U.S. loves to be respected but has not demanded that respect. We have not lashed out at those who have insulted or slighted us. Attack us however, and all hell will come down on those guilty. Still, the U.S. will go to great effort to protect the innocent.

While there are faction’s throughout the world that hate our freedoms and would like to kill us, throwing the world into chaos to their benefit, most of the world by all measures, respects and looks up to the USA.

This country is the world’s primary protection from entering another dark age – an example of what the world would look like with no America.

We are the best example of the human race ever to represent the shared interests of mankind in the history of our species. There have been great kingdoms and empires throughout history, but none who looked beyond their own self-interest for the common good as this country has done. Instead of ruling the world, which was in our power, we protected the world from others who tried to subjugate it. That hasn’t stopped others from trying either through tyrants or caliphates.

When NASA goes to Mars, this country will invite others to share in the development of the effort, but the USA is the only country with the capability that could do it by itself. It is in our interest to choose not to and will appreciate the contribution the rest of the world will make.

In other words, when the human species ventures to another planet intending to stay, Americans will make it happen for the whole of people on earth.

The U.S. role in globalism since WWII has been supported for often different reasons by both liberals and conservatives.

Ronald Reagan was, in my opinion, the most inspirational president of my time (sorry Barack), calling the U.S., “The shining city on the hill that the rest of the world could look to (Matthew 5:14: ‘You are the light of the world.’).”

Americans have taken on the responsibility of world leadership despite the cost. It was never a net sum zero relationship for the U.S. with the world.

Many Americans are unhappy with the lack of respect and responsibility taken by others, including allies. They elected a new president, Donald Trump, who doesn’t buy into this condition of the world and conception of America’s role in it. What I perceive is that we may be ending an era of American exceptionalism with the country taking a new tact in the world that demands a net zero sum foreign policy.

Supporters of this would say that the free lunch offered by the U.S. since WWII is over for the rest of the world and more will be expected from others to sustain world order as the U.S. will no longer be “it.”

I don’t know that we can know where this is going or how this will unfold other than a profound change in what has been the world order as I knew it may be occurring.

Admittedly, I am uncomfortable with that. My perception has been that my country was better than all others in the world and I don’t want us lowering ourselves to where we become as common as others and are no longer the light of the world.

The world needs us. Ronald Reagan was an optimist. I am trying to remember that.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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