America is the lone superpower in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Along with that awesome and unprecedented power comes responsibilities to humankind and to the planet itself.
America's reason for maintaining her superpower status must be to export the best of our democratic system of governance and the hope of the American Dream to the rest of the world. But these cherished ideals can't be exported through force. We must teach and lead by example.
Consequently, being a superpower involves more than having the most powerful military in the world. We cannot be the most powerful nation on earth by having the best weaponry, if the people's needs are neglected. Nor can we lead by example until we recommit to the basic values of peace, human rights and freedom.
We must recognize that many of the challenges we face as a nation are global in nature, and that America cannot run from those challenges, nor can we tackle them alone.
Teaching by example means modeling the behaviors we want others to emulate. We must respect the rule of law. We must respect civil rights and liberties. We must advance equality of opportunity.
We must stand firmly for human rights renouncing in all circumstances torture, assassinations and kidnappings as political tools, illegal detention, cruel and unusual punishment and the death penalty.
The United States of America must renounce the doctrine of preemption, once again promising the world that we will work to build a world of peace, as President John F. Kennedy stated, "where the weak are safe and the strong are just."
If we want other nations to work cooperatively to address our world's threats, challenges and conflicts, we must do the same. We must build up institutions that draw on the input and resources of all nations to solve our global problems. We must act collaboratively.