Fish Wrap Of Record: Hey, The USA As A Superpower Is No More

A peak inside the mindset of Liberal World, as espoused by Thomas Friedman

In recent years, I have often said to European friends: So, you didn’t like a world of too much American power? See how you like a world of too little American power – because it is coming to a geopolitical theater near you. Yes, America has gone from being the supreme victor of World War II, with guns and butter for all, to one of two superpowers during the cold war, to the indispensable nation after winning the cold war, to “The Frugal Superpower” of today. Get used to it. That’s our new nickname. American pacifists need not worry any more about “wars of choice.” We’re not doing that again. We can’t afford to invade Grenada today.

One would think liberals would be in favor of this. Can anyone really imagine a liberal answering anyone from around the world in the manner Friedman describes? Yeah, me neither.

Ever since the onset of the Great Recession of 2008, it has been clear that the nature of being a leader – political or corporate – was changing in America. During most of the post-World War II era, being a leader meant, on balance, giving things away to people. Today, and for the next decade at least, being a leader in America will mean, on balance, taking things away from people.

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That’s what leadership means in Liberal World? Seriously? That’s their definition?

When the world’s only superpower gets weighed down with this much debt – to itself and other nations – everyone will feel it. How? Hard to predict.

First, we can thank mostly liberal policies for this much debt. Second, it is not hard to predict. All we have to do is look at the way the economy is reacting today. But, I suppose that in the vaunted halls of the NY Times building the problems in the economy are simply academic debates, or, perhaps it would be better described as a video game, with no reality involved. And in Friedman’s world, it means a reduction in military spending, which should be sure to please Liberals.

Great powers have retrenched before: Britain for instance. But, as Mandelbaum notes, “When Britain could no longer provide global governance, the United States stepped in to replace it. No country now stands ready to replace the United States, so the loss to international peace and prosperity has the potential to be greater as America pulls back than when Britain did.”

Interesting. In Liberal World, America is the #1 cause of all the problems in the world. You would think they would have a thrilling up their leg with the notion that America would no longer be a superpower. There’s a reason for what Tom wrote, though, which we’ll get to, but, first, what is the answer to this fiscal debt problem (created by primarily Liberal policies, and exasperated by Obamanomics)?

First, we need to get ourselves back on a sustainable path to economic growth and reindustrialization, with whatever sacrifices, hard work and political consensus that requires. Second, we need to set priorities. We have enjoyed a century in which we could have, in foreign policy terms, both what is vital and what is desirable. For instance, I presume that with infinite men and money we can succeed in Afghanistan. But is it vital? I am sure it is desirable, but vital? Finally, we need to shore up our balance sheet and weaken that of our enemies, and the best way to do that in one move is with a much higher gasoline tax.

First, by sacrifices, he means high taxes (for everyone else, of course), and by political consequences, he means you need to vote Democrat, and by hard work, well, he has certainly confused a large chunk of the Democrat voting base. Second, he means we have to stop projecting power, and put that money into social programs. Third, we need a huge gas tax, which, somehow, in Tom’s World, won’t destroy economic growth and reindustrialization (which most liberals wouldn’t want, anyhow, since that is bad for global warming.)

“The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era” is actually the title of a very timely new book by my tutor and friend Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert.

Ah. Friedman’s entire Sunday op-ed was a plug for his friends book. No wonder Tom spent so much time stepping outside of approved Liberal World dogma.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. Re-Change 2010!

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