Perhaps one of the most frustrating arguments against good ideas, or even the nascent beginnings of good ideas is the "no one else is doing it" argument. This trope is frequently brought out to oppose action on climate change, as in "no action can be taken on climate change until India and China agree to change their energy policies." The argument frequently comes from conservatives who seem to feel that America should be the last, rather than the first, to act to fix any problem that effects more than one small constituency. (If it effects only one small constituency, say, a single bond company or multimillionaires who die, then of course, act quickly and act often!)
Whatever happened to America leading by example?
American "leadership" over the past eight years, and perhaps longer, has been largely reactive rather than pro-active. Part of the reason our prestige in the world is in decline is because the world no longer looks to us because we expect the world to go first. In order for America to reclaim its leadership, it must provide an example in its actions and policies for the world to follow. That means passing challenging legislation, taking on the hardest problems and showing that good can be done in the world by a powerful nation with strong and well thought-out ideas.
The decline of leadership is a exacerbated by the rise in Republican obstructionism in Congress, and is a major reason we need to deliver not only the White House, but a stronger, progressive majority in Congress to the service of the American people in November. It is only then that we can regain the mantle of global leadership, and let our example, not our might, be our strongest argument for America's role in the world.