The test for American statesmanship will be to resist the temptation to pull up the drawbridges and retreat, as well as the illusion that we can restore the easy dominance we once enjoyed.
We cannot resurrect the uniquely commanding positions that helped American statesmen in the administrations led by Harry Truman and George H.W. Bush shape similar plastic moments over the past century. But we can revive their model of character, vision and discipline in applying American power. We can rebuild America’s democratic example and rekindle the confidence of our allies and the respect of our rivals. Even in this most difficult of moments, we have a rare opening to recover a sense of national purpose and enlightened self-interest and to help Americans—and the world—find shelter from the storm.