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American Decline?

Works and Days, January 6, 2008, Victor Davis Hanson wrote,

Another reader wondered whether the United States is now in irrevocable decline, while India, Russia, China, Japan, and Europe reemerge to assume our once global prominence. I doubt it. All of those countries have far more fundamental problems that we do. India is mired in poverty and overpopulation, prone to religious violence and burdened by a caste system. Russia is a neo-Czarist thugocracy, a $100-a-barrel oil price plastering over the otherwise corrupt and inefficient Russian economy, and a shrinking Russian population. China has not yet come to grips with class strife and unionism, suburban malaise, and must spend hundreds of billions in infrastructure. Its environmental degradation will take years and trillions to repair.

Europe is shrinking, as its socialist/secular/pacifist/heaven-on-earth creed has brought short-term prosperity and stability, but also millions of unassimilated Muslims, no defenses in the face of rising jihadism, possible rogue nuclear states like Iran and North Korea, and a bullying Russia, and a sybarite culture founded on the premise that the here and now is all there is.

In short, America’s natural wealth, its meritocracy and legions of different races, religions and tribes that are united under meritocratic values, its superb military, its past avoidance of doctrinaire political extremism, whether fascism, militarism, Nazism, communism, or jihadism, and its ability to react and galvanize almost overnight, all suggest we can rather quickly, should we wish, defeat any foreign enemy, get off our costly dependence on foreign oil, close our borders and end illegal immigration, begin to spend less federal money, promote more individual savings, balance budgets, pay off foreign debt, and restore our financial preeminence—if we get honest charismatic and competent candidates who can appeal to the better angels of our nature.

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