[T]here’s something special about being America. It really is different. You think about almost any other country in the world, and almost all of them are defined by bloodline or defined by ethnicity or defined by lines that were drawn in a peace agreement or in the end of colonialism or by leaders like Winston Churchill and others sitting in a room and this will be this and this will be that. Not America. We must never forget that what makes America different from other nations is not a common bloodline. It’s not a common religion or a common ideology or a common heritage. It’s actually what makes us different is actually an uncommon idea that all men are created equal and that everybody has these unalienable rights. We are an idea. Unlike other countries, we are an idea. And in our idea, every American gets to fill it out and define it over time. So that’s what the calling of good diplomacy is. It’s filling out the idea and exporting it to other people in the world. And we are working – all of us together – to try to create order where there is none, to bring stability out of chaos, to fix what is broken, and to make this complicated world just a little bit less complicated and a lot more free. And that’s really worth the effort.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
John Kerry on what's special about America. Notes for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."
From Remarks at the 90th Anniversary of the United States Foreign Service - Remarks, John Kerry, Secretary of State, Benjamin Franklin Room, Washington, DC, May 22, 2014 - state.gov: