Even Washington seemed to believe America’s best days were behind it. Leebaert records an exchange between Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and Henry Kissinger in which Kissinger concluded the United States had “passed its high point like so many other civilizations,” adding that he was trying “to persuade the Russians to give us the best deal we can get.”
By all means, listen to Kissinger. In his old age Kissinger is far better at diplomacy and strategy than Spongespine Kerry could ever dream of becoming, no matter how many miles he logs shuttling about making deals with foes who will miss him when he's gone.
But remember that we won the Cold War and the Soviet empire is no more. Kissinger didn't see that. And while he is far from alone on that, there were those that believed we could win.