Too much power is not good for a person or for a nation. It leads to hubris, to the childish illusion of omnipotence, and, even when driven by good intentions, to abuse. In the case of the United States, the illusion of being exceptional, the idea that the “Greatest Nation in the History of the World,” can do anything, is doubtless fed by the manner of the country’s inception. France and the United States are the only Western democracies born from revolution. Like France, the American republic likes to claim that it represents not only the hopes of humankind, but universal values. The American way is the global way, or it jolly well should be.
Imperial Hubris by Ian Buruma (Foreign Policy, November 2011, p. 65)