America's apartheid mentality toward the world By Helena Cobban
Fri Apr 25, 4:00 AM ET

What kind of relationship do Americans want to build with the world's 6 billion other people in the years ahead? This question is urgent, since the past seven years have seen an unprecedented drop in our country's global favorability rating. In today's hyper-connected world, that has huge consequences for Washington's ability to protect American interests.

To fix this problem, many experts and even the presidential candidates are promoting agendas to rebuild America's position of world leadership. They are right to try to repair our image abroad. But their focus on "American leadership" is misplaced. A smarter approach would be for us to build a new relationship with the world that embraces the key principles of human equality and mutual respect among all peoples.

Starting to see themselves as "merely" equal to everyone else may seem slightly scary to some Americans. But history should assure them.