America’s decline could save it from destruction
Bearing less responsibility will have benefits for the country, even if that means wielding less power
There are two key questions. The first: Do Americans want a future that is different from the present or the past? To put it another way, is it possible for Americans to maintain a self-respectful notion of national identity within a new, disillusioned history of themselves?
The second key question: Can Americans remember differently — and therefore advance differently, without the nationalist and exceptionalist identity that carried them to 2001?
We have little to go by in terms of an existing record in American history, and what we have is not encouraging. The Bush years amounted to a simple denial of historical facts, a life-wasting, resource-wasting lunge for American power, even though it had already slipped away.
The Obama presidency, for all its initial promise of change, has been an even bigger disappointment in some respects, given the electorate’s initial hopes. It has offered very little in the way of forward movement.
Barack Obama has clung to the same prerogative rights to conduct military action wherever he sees fit. His administration is guilty of many of the same abuses of law that characterized the Bush years.
Apply a blind and one cannot tell the difference between the security-related legislation Obama has passed and what Bush enacted from the Patriot Act onward.