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'The New American Century'

3:41 PM, Jun 14, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Whether they came here on the Mayflower, a slave ship, or on an airplane from Havana, we are all the descendants of the men and women who built the nation that changed the world.

We are still the great American people. And the only thing standing in the way of solving our problems is our willingness to do so.


Whether we do so or not is of great consequence. And not just to us, but also to the whole world.

I know, that some say that because times are tough here at home, we can no longer worry about these things going on abroad. That when it comes to world events, America needs to mind its own business.

But whether we like it or not, there is virtually no aspect of our daily lives here in America that is not directly influenced by the world that lives around us. We can choose to ignore global problems, but those problems will not ignore us.

One of my favorite speeches is one that talks about our role in the world. It was the speech President Kennedy was set to give, had he lived just one more day. It would have closed with these words:

“We in this country, in this generation, are- by destiny rather than by choice- the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’ That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Almost half a century later America is still the only watchman on that wall of world freedom. And there is still no one else to take our place.

What will the world look like if America declines?

Well, today all over the world, people are being forced to accept a familiar lie, that the price for their security is their liberty. 

If America declines, who will serve as living proof that liberty, security and prosperity are all possible together?

Today, radical political Islam abuses and oppresses women, has no tolerance for other faiths and seeks to impose its views on the whole world. 

If America declines, who will lead the fight to confront and defeat them?

Today, children are used as soldiers and trafficked as slaves.

Dissidents are routinely imprisoned without trial, and subjected to torture, forced confessions and forced labor.

If America declines, who will take these causes as their own?

What will the world look like if America declines?

Well, who will create the innovations of the 21st century?

Who will stretch the limits of human potential and explore the new frontiers?

If America declines, who will do all this, and ask for nothing in return?

Motivated solely by the desire to make the world a better place?

The answer is no one will. There is still no nation or institution in the world willing or able to do what we have done. 


Ronald Reagan described America as a shining city on a hill.

Now, some say that we can no longer afford the price we must pay to keep America’s light shining. 

Others say that there are new shining cities that will soon replace us.

I say they are both wrong. 

Yes, the price we will pay to keep America’s light shining is high, but the price we will pay if it stops shining will be even higher.

Yes, there are new nations now emerging with prosperity and influence.  And that is what we always wanted.

America never wanted to be the only shining city. We wanted our example to inspire the people of the world to build one of their own.

You see, these nations, these new shining cities, they can join us, but they can never replace us. Because the light coming from them is but a reflection of our own.

It is the light of an American century that now spreads throughout the world. 

A world that still needs America.

A world that still needs our light.

A world that still needs another American century.

I pray that with God’s help, that will be our legacy to our children and to the world.

Mr./Madame President, I yield the floor.

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