Complete and utter nonsense is the only way I can describe what I’ve just read. Your profile says you’re a former hill staffer and judging by this essay you must’ve been working for Strom Thurmond or possibly Robert Byrd late in their careers.
Since this piece is so shot through with bullshit I’m just going to point out to you how fucking ridiculous the idea of “moral leadership” by the US or any of our vassal states is in 2017 with a few pointed examples. You dismiss criticism in the West and abroad of the greatest crimes and humanitarian disasters since WWII, the invasions and occupations of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq just to name a few, as nothing more than “our moral self-loathing and cynicism”. Holy shit! What great successes these imperial adventures have been in advancing our “moral leadership”?! Acknowledging the fact that our society is responsible for the slaughter of millions of practically defenseless people, unleashing widespread chaos around the world and incalculable environmental destruction is not a sign that “the West utterly lacks the will to defend itself and its values on the world stage” it’s simply a recognition that at this stage of world history we have no values to defend and no moral high ground to occupy. I learned that in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. You’d do well to overcome what I presume can only be willful ignorance by giving it a look.
The end of Western hegemony will be greeted by the peoples of the world with a sigh of relief. The continuation of it by asserting our “moral leadership” will mean nothing short of WWIII. As Einstein said: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” That’s if there’s anybody left to fight.
P.s. If there’s any literature you can direct me towards to help understand how you conjured up this essay and accompanying worldview I would appreciate it. I’m doing my best to understand the profoundly ignorant, ill-informed citizens who populate our society and propagate this thinly veiled white supremacist bullshit, but it’s difficult. It’s real difficult.