Charles Krauthammer says decline is a choice. Tom Barnett calls this the most pathetic thing Krauthammer has ever written. Ginny talks about Obama’s “reflexive anti-Americanism and supports Krauthammer. What’s going on?
America is declining in relative influence.
The systemic causes of this decline is our success.
Our decline has been needlessly accelerated in the last two years.
First, it is obvious that America is declining in relative influence. If you live in some awful place like south-side Chicago or Detroit, having a relatively modest amount of money — and guns — can make you a big player. If you get a professional job and move to a nice neighborhood, you will have less relative influence over your neighbors. You’ll also be much happier and safer. Similarly, the world is no longer politically shattered as it was in 1945, or 1989. Instead, much of the world’s population live in large, growth-oriented blocs (the most vital of which are the America Free Trade Areas, the European Union, China, and India)
Second, our long-term relative decline is in our interests. It is better to live in a safer world than a dangerous one, even if that means its less likely that you get to use your weapons to get your way. Likewise, it is better to live in a richer world than a poorer one. We want to prevent war, and the best way to do this is to create a trade-based, integrated world where war is unthinkable.
Third, it is obvious that our decline is accelerating because of our recent actions. This is bad. America has run large budget deficits for years, and the world has funded these deficits because America has been (a) a fiscally responsible country that (b) uses its power to protect small countries from big ones. George W. Bush ended both patterns. Within two months, America allowed Russia to occupy Georgia and transferred trillions of dollars to politically-powerful friends of the Administrations. Obama has encouraged and reinforced these disastrous decisions.
America’s decline is accelerating because of decisions made by President Bush and President Obama.
The acceleration of decline is a choice… and one that we have already made.