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{This was posted on or aroung December 2004, in response to a thread on asking people’s opinions on what to improve in America. There were lots of tongue-in-cheek answers, a lot of talk about laziness, de-religionizing government, etc., but one theme that recurred by both Americans and posted from other countries was keeping out of foreign affairs … a return to isolationism. Published elsewhere, this response received 4 five-star reviews out of 4, and over 1000 views as of this posting.}

I consider myself an American, but also very seriously as a citizen of the world.

Serious Isolationism is no longer an option – for ANY country that wants to survive. This isn’t a political opinion, but an economic position just short of absolute fact. A global economy is falling on us like landslide wether we like it or not, and we are ignorant to ignore it, and better adapt.

This brings up the question of our (or any nation’s) rights to protect their economic interests versus the sovereignty issues of other nations. And what is in the global economy’s interest (such as non-disruption of energy or food supply, etc.) is EVERYBODY’s business.

The problem (which rubber-stamps American pride as arrogance by the rest of the world) is that we are one of the heaviest hitters in the global economy. We make up the lion’s share of the UN’s resources, militarily and otherwise.

But we can’t win.

We are expected to contribute our own prosperity to the rest of the world, who is resentful that we gain vast influence in the process. Our foreign aid muddies the water of sovereignty in other nations, while we are battered for not doing enough.

Such influence / interference is in our national interest. Selfish humanitarianism. But any country would do the same if THEY were “The Man”. And if they wouldn’t, then their people are not looking out for their best interests, which in the real world we must all do.

My point is that we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, but even if we fight the right war for the wrong reason, with our position comes the ETHICAL responsibility of participation in global affairs.

My position is that we ARE our brother’s keeper. Overall, we have the biggest muslces and wallet in the family. That doesn’t mean we should bully just because we can, but that doesn’t MAKE us bullies just because we can either.

If America can walk the fine line between globally manipulative empire and the older brother you want on your side in the fight against whatever evil may arise and a helping hand when mankind is hurting, that’s the America I say the pledge to.

But America is not a person – it is people. A LOT of people. It is unrealistic to think there shouldn’t or wont be people to use world events unfairly to America’s advantage, but that is THEIR agenda – not America’s.

There are just as many (if not more) whose intentions are to do the right thing for ourselves AND the world at all times.

But until someone invents a black-and-white solution from on high … Forgive us our tresspasses. We are human too.