Via Mark Kleiman, an interview with Wesley Clark. Kleiman plucked the best answer from the interview, and I’ll follow his lead:

Any revolutionary ideas? A $2 gas tax? Privatize Social Security? Buy Canada?
In the 19th century, we were motivated by manifest destiny. In the 20th century, it was the idea that it was our duty to contain the spread of Communism and keep open the door for freedom. Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals. The question is this: Where can we, with all our wealth and capabilities, lead mankind?

I love this answer because it properly estimates our place in the world right now. I’m tired of an administration that leads by fear. Terrorism is a danger to the lives of Americans and to people all over the world, but it’s not a challenge to our civilization. Nor are autocratic, creaky, Islamic regimes. In announcing our war with Iraq, our President told us, “I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons.” I’ve had it with the fearmongering. Regardless of what the right course of action was with regard to Iraq, we were never at the mercy of Saddam Hussein.