When our nation was founded over two hundred years ago, we were the world's only democratic republic. Today, there are more than 100 electoral democracies spread all across the globe. We must reaffirm our faith in the principles that our founders declared to be universal, that all people are created equal and possess inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We fought a Revolution, a Civil War, two world wars, and a cold war to vindicate these principles and ensure that freedom could be enjoyed, as Abraham Lincoln promised, by all people of all colors everywhere.' We were right to struggle for democracy then, and we are right to do so now.
This is not idealism, my friends. It is the truest kind of realism. Today as in the past, our interests are inextricably linked to the global progress of our ideals. The vision of a new era of enduring peace based on freedom is not a Republican vision. It is not a Democratic vision. It is an American vision. The American people have known instinctively for two centuries that we are safer when the world is more democratic. Whatever our differences, we all share the same goal: a world of peace and freedom, of prosperity and opportunity, of hope. We have a duty to ourselves to be true to those beliefs, to use our great power wisely on behalf of freedom. As Ronald Reagan proclaimed in his speech to the British Parliament in 1982, Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.'