But the main reason for the decline in our influence in the hemisphere is the failure of the U.S. to exert any meaningful leadership on the real issues facing the majority of the world's people. The concept of human rights has all but vanished from the national consciousness in America, replaced by the need for "national security" to combat the "fear of terrorism." The rest of the world, in contrast, is engaging more and more in the quest for popular sovereignty through rejection of authoritarianism.
Whether it's workers in China, farmers in India, indigenous peoples in Africa and South America, the demand for equality, democracy, environmental protection and limitations on corporate power are nearing universal resonance.
Of course, because of the consolidation of corporate media in the U.S., that message is not penetrating the consciousness of the average American. Here, the airwaves are full of reality tv, pro sports, military and corporate propaganda, and revisionist historical and social narratives.
The more forceful the anti-imperialist narrative becomes in the world around us, the greater the volume will be on the media's illusionary narrative of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny.