Still, Tirman says he is attempting to be "rigorously nonpartisan." Granted, he does also take on Democrats, as well as the New Age and self-help movements. Yet there is no doubt his views find their source in traditional liberal thought. This may be seen best in his evaluation of Bill Clinton. Tirman refers to "the 'wise men' of the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies," who helped produce the UN, the World Bank and the Marshall Plan. He then condemns Clinton and the Democrats for moving toward the center or even right of center and squandering eight years in the White House. "It is difficult to recall a single phrase, a single initiative, a moment of inspiration in global affairs that was of Clinton's making," he writes.
As the executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies, Tirman is particularly qualified to evaluate the impact of America's policies and actions in foreign relations. As noted, he often touches on America's past foreign interventions and support for dictatorial regimes. In this area, 100 Ways tends to explore the animosity toward America. Among other things, he notes that the problem isn't that other countries and people don't understand Americans. Instead, Tirman believes Americans are the ones who tend to lack understanding:
We know so little of the developing world in particular that we could not possibly grasp that hatred could mount to such a point that a 9/11 attack could not only happen, but that it would be treated with outright glee or a nod of "they finally got theirs" in many quarters of the global south. And that hatred, or disgust or disappointment, is based on misunderstandings, necessarily, but on the sometimes accurate perception of an America that cares only about itself, enriches the wealthy at the expense of the world's poor, and belittles their aspirations, their cultural preferences and religions, and their politics.
This is one of the myriad ways in which 100 Ways encompasses far more than formal policy decisions. Another underlying theme is that many of the ways actually stem from America's stature itself. Both the good and bad aspects of American culture spread throughout the world and is frequently imitated.