Jonathan Broder argues that America's relative decline justifies Obama's vision of global engagement over the Republican vision of domination.
When it comes to America's place in the world, the top Republican presidential contenders enthusiastically embrace the idea of American exceptionalism. In their debates and speeches, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich emphasize that Americans are a special people, with a special destiny to lead the world. And their prescription for continued global leadership calls for increased defense spending and a muscular worldwide presence to ensure that rivals such as China, Russia or Iran will think twice before defying the United States.
"God did not create this country to be a nation of followers," Romney declared in October in South Carolina. "America is not destined to be one of several, equally balanced global partners. America must lead the world, or someone else will."