America , which for decades was the acknowledged leader of the free world, can no longer lay claim to that title. That era is now at an end. While the U.S. is still seen as the world's greatest military power, it no longer possesses the special attributes that are essential to command that prestigious position as the leader of the Western world. While some may still mistakenly refer to America in that vein, that no longer reflects reality.
To be a leader, especially the leader of nations, calls for special and unique qualities that others do not possess. A leader inspires, is a visionary that sees creative solutions and new directions; a good leader has an exemplary character, is trustworthy, and knows how to resolve differences; is committed to excellence, commands respect and, in turn respects others.
Above all, a leader of nations must lead by example. And that is exactly the main reason why America can no longer be seriously considered as the leader of the free world. Let's put it this way; based on witnessing the actions and behavior of America, especially after the turn of the century, the nations of the free world seem to be coming to the realization that their goals and objectives and those of America's are no longer the same.
These nations see America as a nation in a state of decline, with a government and a political system that has become dysfunctional and no longer has the will to address and solve its most critical problems. They see a nation that is obsessed and addicted to war and the expansion of a military empire. They watch as the U.S. government and its leaders fail to take appropriate actions as the most important foundations of their nation continue to deteriorate.
Those who follow look to a leader that exhibits strength and stability whose objectives generally match their own. Do these nations, supposedly friends and allies of America, see that strength and stability, do they see a commonness of purpose of objectives? Is America a nation that is leading by example, producing achievements that these nations would wish to emulate?
To answer that question, let's take a look at some of the elements that form the major foundations of America and then make an assessment of America's qualities of leadership.
*National Safety and Security -- there is no doubt that the U.S. has the most powerful military force in the world, bar none. In fact, it has become so massive that its annual budget dwarfs that of its major allies combined. No other nation in the entire world has any significant military presence in any other part of the world; no other nation since World War II has been involved in a succession of unnecessary wars as has the U.S.