Dear Dr. Lavin,
I will end with this, Charles S. Maier writes in Among Empires- American ascendancy and its Predecessors, “…according to John L. O’Sullivan, the Jacksonian editor who coined the phrase manifest destiny a half century later: ’The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In the magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles.’” (Emphasis mine) If we forget the ideals on which and for which we were founded, we will not find greater freedom and liberty, but tyranny and slavery to the darker elements of our nature. As a nation we will be a force for good or evil in the world, this seems unavoidable. Many in the world of Islam, not just radicals and terrorists, see us as a force for evil, as the decadence of our culture spreads around the world. Others perhaps see us as a beacon of hope this was at least partially true among some of the peoples of the former Soviet empire. I hope that our real manifest destiny is to be a source of good and hope for the world. If we choose not “to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles” the alternative is not to manifest moral indifferentism, but moral decadence. We will be light or the absence thereof, but we are too powerful already to be just another dim bulb.
The founding fathers believed they were founding what