SEATTLE’S CAPITOL Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) and Athens’ upscale Kolonaki district are so remote that only a globe-spanning event could pair them both in a single news cycle. Earlier in June of this year, the anti-American rage that saw woke activists burn U.S. flags the world over was precisely that event.
With the November U.S. presidential elections right around the corner, one can be excusably absorbed by the domestic stakes in our ongoing culture war—cue CHOP’s lawless mayhem. Yet in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a portrait of America as an irredeemably racist nation has taken hold worldwide, which reminds that the nation’s foundational promise was never meant to exist in a vacuum. Violations of that promise—whether or not Floyd’s death turns out to be one—are bound to ripple globally, for they too violate America’s mission to act as a global beacon. That mission demands that liberty and equal rights turn out successful experiments at home, so that they may inspire the Earth. There’s a succinct appellation—though quaint and politically taboo—for the belief in a path for mankind to reach civilized freedom, where America plays a fallible though indispensable role: the West.
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