Biden: No New Cold Wars or Democracy Crusades
"What is America's mission?" is a question that has been debated since George Washington's Farewell Address in 1797.
At last week's Munich Security Conference, President Joe Biden laid out his vision as to what is America's mission. And the contrast with the mission enunciated by George W. Bush in his second inaugural could not have been more defining or dramatic.
Here is Bush, Jan. 20, 2005:
"From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth...
"Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation... Now it is... the calling of our time."
"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
America's mission is "ending tyranny in our world," said Bush.
Biden's declared mission is far less ambitious.
"We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future and direction of our world. We're at an inflection point between those who argue that... autocracy is the best way forward... and those who understand that democracy is essential."
"Historians are going to... write about this moment as an inflection point... And I believe that -- every ounce of my being -- that democracy will and must prevail. We must demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world.