Sunday, December 13, 2009
Exercising Our Right To Be Stupid
My good friend Utah Savage posted yesterday about what our national identity is. "Who Are We" , she asks. And then as many others have done, she blames GW Bush and his band of clowns for the mess we are in now.
As much as it would suit my mood to blame Bushco for what we are experiencing now, I cannot do that. They certainly own a sizable chunk of the blame. But in my opinion, much of what we are experiencing now has it's roots in events and policies from over forty years ago. And if we really want the blame to find all those involved, we might as well go back as far as President Monroe. Many administrations and Congresses have their hand in the stupidity Obama is dealing with now. And so far, he seems content to continue the stupidity.
America came of age during the Imperialistic age of a Europe intent on exploiting anything they could for their own interests. Our geopolitical roots date back to this idea that the World is our oyster. Economic power backed by military muscle.
Rather than take to heart the failures of the Euro Imperialism, we stepped up when it was our turn and repackaged the policy mistakes the Europeans made and went down the same path. While our approach was maybe less severe and was wrapped with false good intentions, when we didn't get what we wanted, we fell back on the tried and true methods of military intervention.
This mentality or should I say this geopolitical approach has a finite shelf life. History has proven it time and time again starting back as far as recorded history records. The predictable cycle is now turning a corner for the United States. Just as Europe had to adjust to the US shoving it's way into the top tier, the US needs to come to grips with the idea that we need to make room at the top for others.
As much as I would like to think that the times we live in are somehow different than the times experienced in the past, the scenarios remain the same even though the riches being sought and coveted are different. Our world seems to be set up on the idea that power flows to those who control the most people, land, resources. The US no longer enjoys even controlling one of these vital things. We have become the 21st century version of 19th century Great Britain. A nation that consumes the most but produces almost none of it. We have created our own decline.
The sooner we accept this notion, the sooner we will begin the right kind of recovery. But nothing nurses a grudge harder than a nation realizing it is falling by the wayside. We are a wounded animal and I fear that rather than think our way through the upcoming shuffling of power, we will strike out and try to retain or regain what we have lost. These are very dangerous times. And so far, I am not pleased with how we are handling it.