Should America Be the World's Cop? We Asked, You Answered

Should America Be the World's Cop? We Asked, You Answered

Host Carlos Watson on the set of "Third Rail With OZY." Guests Hill Harper, Emma Ashford, Yael Eisenstat and Cliff Maloney Jr. debated "Should America Be the World's Cop?" on Sept. 22, 2017, in New York City.

SourceDaniel Sircar

Why you should care

Because this is what you had to say about America’s role in the world.

Welcome to Third Rail With OZY, a new TV show presented by OZY and WGBH, where we debate provocative hot topics with experts and celebrities every Friday night. The subject of last week’s show was “Should America Be the World’s Cop?” You answered, and here are your thoughts, edited for clarity. Check back later this week for the question we’ll be debating this Friday on PBS at 8:30 p.m. EST.

Missed the episode? Catch up here!

David Dennis, Killeen, Texas

I believe we should maintain a global presence militarily to protect our allies and interests. Having said that, I don’t think we should be the world’s policeman. We need to actually learn from past mistakes and use that knowledge to craft commonsense foreign policy.

Werner Heisenberg

If the USA isn’t there, the Chinese and Russians will be, and the USA will lose democratic influence in the world. There will be a vacuum, and consequences that spread economically and militarily. The USA has important global national security interests, like oil in the Middle East; like it or not, American security requires a robust U.S. reach globally.

Jesse Schrater

A cop is someone who protects those who can’t protect themselves. If you’re tall, wouldn’t you reach high for someone not tall enough? If you’re strong, wouldn’t you help lift something others struggle with? If you’re wealthy, wouldn’t you help pay when others can’t afford it? If you’re free, wouldn’t you step in when others are in chains? We’re lucky to have been born in a country that has much to offer. Security is one of those things. Shouldn’t we offer it?

Cliff Maloney Jr., president, Young Americans for Liberty

Yael Eisenstat, former CIA analyst

Ivette Babylon, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Ha! The CIA analyst says let’s train the locals. How’d that work out in Vietnam? Afghanistan? Latin America? Stop meddling!

Karen Walker

Yes. Someone has to be the voice of reason, and when we have a voice of reason back in the White House, we should take our place once again.

Rashaad Cherry

If we simply consider our internal issues with policing our own citizens, it is difficult to believe that we have much chance of effectively serving in this capacity for the world. Make no mistake, our “cop” would be a soldier with an M4, trained in warfare, not service. This notion of America as the “world’s cop” has been, is and continues to be a very poor idea.

Leland Means

Trevor Fye

Kitty Siegel, Knoxville, Tennessee

Your question is misstated. Using the designation of “cop” leads the conversation in the wrong direction. We are the leader of the free world; as such, we have to play a central role in supporting our allies, the U.N. and the Paris Climate Accord, for starters. As for where we are in Afghanistan and Iraq, we never should have been there in the first place — it’s just another Vietnam. Rhetoric about blowing North Korea off the map is not prudent; diplomacy is key. We can’t shirk our duties in a global economy. I do think that we have lost the respect of the world because of our very imprudent president.

Ronald Payne, Wichita, Kansas

Rather than being the “world’s cop,” I think we would be better off if our influence had been used to guide the world toward one government with a constitution similar to our own. A move toward a lasting peace that could reduce the need for a “world cop.”

Brad Whitcomb

It seems the fact that has not been considered is the U.S. is an empire in repose. Like all the empires before it, the U.S. has reached that point where it cannot sustain itself as an empire. Like the Roman and the British [empires] before it, the American empire is close to collapse … There’s only so much blood and treasure to go around, and the U.S. is nearly at its limit.

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