Will America Defeat Itself? Ideas and National Power
April 16, 2012
America was not a great power in the late nineteenth century. It was rich and thought highly of itself, but it had little international influence or respect. The line attributed to Bismarck, that God protects children, drunks, and the United States of America, was not meant as a compliment. Learn this line, because as a country we are on a path to return to our nineteenth-century status.
There are happy books about the world America made that provide the comforting illusion of the once and future superpower. It is true that in terms of resources, population, military strength, and wealth, the United States ranks among the leading nations of the world. However, our ideas have changed and they are failing us. We inherited a powerful ship of state built by those who won the Cold War, but we have no idea how to maintain it.