Ever since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has retained an active, interventionist hand in the Global Community. We were showed by World War II that our isolationism allowed hatred and intolerance to grow and spread, from Germany to China. We were awaken from that slumber by the slaughter and destruction of a war unlike any other that has ever been fought. Since then, the United States has sought to preserve freedom and democracy around the world, at least on paper.
After WWII, the post-war doctrine of the United States called for more interventionist measures to actively protect American interests, and to supposedly help the people of the world in their fight for liberty. In 1947, President Truman told Congress that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The Truman Doctrine formed the basis for American Foreign Policy, and called for the United States to resist and contain the spread of Communism.
Since then, the United States has involved itself in nearly every country on Earth. The US frequently used the CIA to topple “hostile governments,” like the democratically-elected Syrian Legislature, or the Socialist Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mossadegh, or installing an authoritarian dictator in Guatemala. These are just a few examples out of many.
In order to improve on the future, we must look to the past. It is my firm belief that in order to be more successful, the United States must look at the Wilsonian Moral Diplomacy. The United States must not just be an economic power, it must be a force for good. Regardless of the flaws of President Wilson, or how the Wilson Administration applied it, the original idea behind it is something that we must all look towards. What President Wilson sought to do is to strengthen democracy internationally, and to economically hinder the countries that refuse to accept the righteous cause of liberty and democracy.
The United States must not just fight for economic prosperity, we must be ideologically motivated to be a force for good. We must be the nation that empowers developing countries to throw off the shackles of poverty and authoritarianism, not the nation that forces them there.
It is unacceptable that the United States has acted in any way, shape, or form, to overthrow democratically elected leaders and legislatures. The nature of democracy in itself is that the results of a fair election must be accepted regardless of the result as the will of the people. Our priorities must not be to act on behalf of corporations like we did in the Iraq War, rather to act to benefit humanity, not just the ultra-rich.
What the United States must do is rethink our perception by the rest of the world, and our aims as a whole. The rest of the world does not look very favorably upon the United States as of late, mostly because of the militaristic and incorrect policies of our Presidents since Reagan, including to some extent President Obama.
We cannot act like we are the best country in the world anymore, but we can and should act like we have the ability to create good, which we do. It is the responsibility of the world’s oldest democracy to ensure that the world is as free as possible. The United States and its policy has been impacted too much by the corporate lobby, and by the ultra-rich. In order to make this world a better place, we must strengthen international cooperation, democracy, and our public perception.