Many people I know, including family and friends, are busy predicting the collapse of the American empire, and taking no small delight when they prognosticate about this upcoming event. Indeed, there are many indicators that suggest America’s “day in the sun” is about to end. From crippling debt that is wildly out of control, a crumbling national infrastructure, foreclosures and unemployment that stubbornly refuses to decline, the United States faces a myriad of complex problems. When taken in total, these problems seem beyond the ability of any nation to resolve. While the U.S. has scrambled out of many difficult situations in the past, today’s difficulties are so huge, and so numerous, that we must seriously consider the possibility that the American Century really did end at the close of 1999.
As I noted, many are joyfully anticipating America’s collapse, but I’m not one of them. It’s easy to dislike America. Just as many dislike the richest person, or the most powerful person, it seems to be part of human nature to make ourselves feel more important by reducing the importance of others. At the same time, Americans appear to go out of their way to provide us with countless additional reasons why we should dislike their nation. Whether it’s their staggering lack of geographical awareness, the pompous babbling of some of their stupid politicians, or the mindless chant of “USA, USA,” America seems to annoy just about everyone on this poor planet. Even their staunchest allies have begun to quietly back away from standing in the spotlight with America, whatever the occasion.
Before we all gather to celebrate the American demise, I think we should look a little further beyond this collapse and ask ourselves “what’s next?” I’ve asked myself this question, and I don’t like the answers. Without American leadership, what nation will step forward to fill this leadership gap, and does that nation share our values, our faith, our love of freedom and liberty, and our allegiance to all that is lawful? Somehow, I think not. If it’s to be Chinese leadership, I fear the defence of liberty and freedom will not rank high on the priorities list in Beijing. Others suggest Russia, but Moscow’s inability to manage their own country without returning to Stalinism makes Russia appear to be a very dangerous choice. Japan is too small, and too tired, while India is too big, and just as tired as Japan. A few of you have suggested that Western Europe, collectively, could provide this leadership. Perhaps, but what this theory ignores is the fact that we had European leadership in the 18th and 19th centuries, a period that gave us Britain’s push for global empire, France’s push for global empire, Spain’s push for global empire, and the German demand for relevance, all culminating in the First and Second World Wars. This theory also ignores the fact that most Western European nations have nearly as many problems as America. England’s bankrupt, as is Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Poland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, Holland, Ireland and Romania, just to name a few.
When you consider all of the features that the next global leadership nation must have, it quickly becomes apparent that there are no suitable choices. Before we all dance on America’s grave, we should consider the possibility that despite all its shortcomings, America may still be the best choice we have.
Brian McLeod did find one qualified nation: Norway, but the thought of Christmas dinner being herring instead of turkey was too revolting to consider.