Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manifest Destiny

I always used to liked this phrase, as it seemed to celebrate the pioneering spirit which built this country. Apparently, it was originally used in support of westward expansion in the 19th century. Having lived through the Depression years and WWll, and seen the USSR disintegrate, leaving the USA as the only "superpower", I later felt that this was the country's "manifest destiny". Lately, however, I have become more conscious of those who see the USA in less favorable terms. To me, it is still the best country in the world, all things considered--and that's not meant as a put-down of Norway, Switzerland, the U.K, Canada, New Zealand, and other wonderful countries. After all, I made a decision to move here, become a citizen, and have been able to thrive. But I no longer think of it being the USA's manifest destiny to lead the world, when it is seen as a bully in many parts of the globe. The U.N. has been an imperfect instrument to achieve the World Peace we so ardently desire, but I have hopes that its day will come. I am also convinced that it is not our country's manifest destiny to be the world's policeman.

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