The Choice of Accelerating our Decline

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.

8 thoughts on “The Choice of Accelerating our Decline”

  1. Hello TDAXP,
    I love your insight and logic in this post!

    “The acceleration of decline is a choice – one which we’ve already made.”

    Saying nothing of the corruptive influence of special interests, do you think the acceleration of decline is a result of something as simple as American hubris? Or do you think the hubris displayed by both administrations is a reaction to the decline?

    Each man (Obama & Bush) is/was a “messiah” to one part of the population and an “anti-Christ” to another – a partisan environment which seems to enable and promote an accelerated agenda and accelerated action, regardless of the dangers.

  2. You know what, maybe we could do with a little bit less influence in this world. We may not be a threat in the same context of, say, Russia’s nationalist sentiment, but more so in terms of having a corrupt bureaucratic structure that seems about as manageable as a black hole.

    More often than not, only when sh*t falls on someone does one reflect upon themselves, and we are in serious need of reflecting on what America is supposed to be.

  3. Jeffrey,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Often, I meet people who are incredulous when I describe a serious anti-Americanism among members of the political left. However, your comment is a great example of the ‘fear of America’ tendency in American life.

    Tim,

    Thanks for your kind words!

    I recall describing Obama as a ‘Liberal version of Bush’ a while ago to a friend, and I think you nail the similarity very good. However, I don’t think the answer is as simple as hubris. One can have hubris and not engage in stupid decisions, or be humble and engage in stupid decisions anyway.

  4. “Often, I meet people who are incredulous when I describe a serious anti-Americanism among members of the political left.”

    To be honest with you, I sort of originally brushed past that point in your article. I perceive the assertion “anti-Americanism” in the same context that you perceive the word Neoconservative.

    In other words, the definition of the words seem to keep changing when most convenient for whomever.

  5. Jeffrey,

    You can use whatever jargon you wish. Certainly words can generate emotions which the speaker does not intend. Nonetheless, seeking the diminution of American power seems a reasonable and valid definition of American power. I do not believe Obama supports this goal, though doubtless many of his supporters do.

    Seerov,

    Could you explain?

  6. It becomes tiresome to read endlessly by those on the right that the left does not love and support our nation. Could it be that they do not support mindless lockstep following of Bush et al when they p;unge us into a war in iraq and screw up Afghanistan, and lie to us about WMD?

    I have served a few times in our military and so I truly resent the accusations about not caring about our country. What, just what, have you done for your country?

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