The historian Garet Garrett summed it up this way:
“It is our turn.
“Our turn to do what?
“Our turn to assume the responsibilities of moral leadership in the world.
“Our turn to maintain a balance of power against the forces of evil everywhere – in Europe and Asia and Africa, in the Atlantic and in the Pacific, by air and by sea – evil in this case being the Russian barbarian.
“Our turn to keep the peace of the world.
“Our turn to save civilization.
“Our turn to serve mankind.
“But this is the language of empire. The Roman Empire never doubted that it was the defender of civilization. Its good intentions were peace, law and order. The Spanish Empire added salvation. The British Empire added the noble myth of the white man’s burden. We have added freedom and democracy. Yet the more that may be added to it the more it is the same language still. A language of power.”