...No nation in history rose so quickly from obscurity to world leadership, and none since the Roman Empire has enjoyed such preeminence, as the United States. After playing a genius strategic hand from aid to the democracies in 1939-1941, the military conduct of the Second World War in the years following, to the containment strategy opposite the Soviet Union, until it was left alone as the world’s only great power, the United States then suddenly became, in public-policy terms, an almost unrelievedly stupid country, about 20 years ago. During the Cold War, the United States led the triumph of democracy in Europe, South and East Asia, and Latin America — yet it now no longer ranks as one the world’s better functioning democracies.Read the rest here.
...The United States is a rich country whose people are patriotic and hard-working. It is disoriented and very corrupt, and all its elites have failed. And yet it has no real rivals. Europe is crumbling, even more idle and debt-ridden than the United States, and withering demographically, almost comatose after generations of paying Danegeld to the urban mobs and small farmers. Japan is a geriatric workshop; Russia is an alcohol-sodden, self-depopulating gangster-state; and India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia comprise over 3-billion people, more than two thirds of whom live as they did 3,000 years ago. They are putting up good economic-growth numbers, but China’s inflation rate is now in double digits, and all of those countries are largely dysfunctional, and will require decades to have any chance of seriously rivaling America. This should provide time for the United States to pull out of its nose-dive. President Obama said, “We do big things.” The United States has, but after this presentational fiasco, I would not like to think of what he might have in mind for an encore.
HT: John Larocque