Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mark Steyn Weighs In On "Post-American World"

I have previously noted concern for the future of the greatest experiment in self-government the world has yet seen, and as we approach the proverbial 100 day mark in the Obama administration, it seems many more are beginning to voice similar concerns about the future of this great land.

I have received several links via email today alerting me to Mark Steyn's Sunday column, which deals with what may be in store for us as a nation if we continue along our present course.

For those who may not be familiar with Mr. Steyn's work, he has authored several books, the latest being America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It, a work I highly recommend. Many of his writings appear in Macleans, as well as other places, and he is one of my all-time favorite fill-in hosts for Rush Limbaugh, as he has a decidedly wicked sense of humor.

What's the greater likelihood? That in 10 years' time things in Pakistan will be better? Or much worse? That nuclearization by basket-case dictatorships from Pyongyang to Tehran will have advanced, or been contained? That the bleak demographic arithmetic at the heart of Europe and Japan's economic woes will have accelerated, or been reversed? That a resurgent Islam's assaults on free speech and other rights (symbolized by the recent U.N. support for a global Islamic blasphemy law) will have taken hold in the Western world, or been forced to retreat?

A betting man would check the "worse" box. Because resisting the present careless drift would require global leadership. And 100 days into a new presidency Barack Obama is giving strong signals to the world that we have entered what Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post calls "the post-American era." At the time of Gordon Brown's visit to Washington, London took umbrage at an Obama official's off-the-record sneer to a Fleet Street reporter that "there's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." Andy McCarthy of National Review made the sharp observation that, never mind the British, this was how the administration felt about its own country, too: America is just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. In Europe, the president was asked if he believed in "American exceptionalism," and he replied: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

Gee, thanks. A simple "no" would have sufficed. The president of the United States is telling us that American exceptionalism is no more than national chauvinism, a bit of flag-waving, of no more import than the Slovenes supporting the Slovene soccer team and the Papuans the Papuan soccer team. This means something. The world has had two millennia to learn to live without "Greek exceptionalism." It's having to get used to post-exceptional America rather more hurriedly.

You can read the rest of his excellent column here.

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When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy Thompson