A post on the end of America in an Presidential election year? Can’t think of a better time.
This post originally was just about Government in the US itself-from the local up to the Federal level. However, what I’ve been reading and seeing causes me to rethink this post. I will be referring to the United States itself.
Ever since its founding almost 236 years ago, the United States of America has had a place on the world stage. Its beginnings were shaped in a war of independence from the then mighty British Empire. Wars, rapid expansion and migrations across the American Continent, and other factors shaped this nation over the generations. As the world entered the 20th Century, the United States would soon become a world player in World War I. Even when post-war isolationism tried to reign in Washington, it was not long before World War II and the subsequent Cold War put America on the global stage.
For the last half of the 20th Century, the United States was a superpower that used its resources to shape a changing post World War II world with competition from the former Soviet Union. A powerful far reaching military, wealth and resources enabled the United States to eventually grow into the sole superpower at the close of the century with the collapse of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Even after terrorist attacks in 1993 and 2001, the world was still under the US’s sway.
However we may soon be mourning the passing of the US as we know it.
I would hazard to say for the last 20 years, internal and external changes are shaping the US into a totally different nation than it was when I was a kid. Internally, we’re seeing a growing gap between the rich and the poor, exacerbated by the recent-and still current-financial crisis. We have a government that caters more to lobbyists than to We The People. Our national infrastructure is aging quickly and has caused the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi in 2007, with more potential problems facing us. We see restive groups from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street that have a beef with the US Government. We have a President, who to many, is out of touch with many Americans.
Externally, we have Brazil, India, Russia and China as contenders for the economic superpower crown; while China is quickly becoming a major military superpower. We have a thinly spread (globally) military that has been exhausted in Iraq, Aghanistan, and quite possibly, Iran. The once Great American Empire is going the way of its earlier counterparts, Rome and the United Kingdom.
So while Americans (and their toadies abroad) “cry themselves a river”, what will we expect for the future? In the words of Monty Python, “something completely different”. We’ll see the coming of a post-America age where the United States will be a smaller player in the world game than earlier. America will probably “implode” due to internal political and socio-economic changes as We The People grow tired of the ineffectiveness of government, and economic woes.
This, in turn will open a whole new set of choices for the US-good and bad. The best case scenario will see a more contemplative America that will take care of “home first,” instead of running all over the world; and will learn to cooperative in a changing world. The worst is a fragmented collection of “countries,” kind of like what happened to the former Soviet Union; the pity of the world.
I cannot tell what will happen with the passing of the US as we know it , but it will be something that will shape its future for a long time.
So for those who think “USA forever” are in for a big surprise.