Obama Dumps Decline
show comments
  • Richard S

    It’s also true that the more worried we are about American deline, the more likely we are to make the reforms necessary to prevent it.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I think everyone agrees that Obama’s State of the Union speech bombed, ratings were a new low, and he wants to tax more and spend more, what a surprise! Three years as President and he is still blaming Bush for his own failures, while not giving Bush any credit for his few successes like the killing of Osama bin Laden. If the US is growing stronger and adapting to the changes, it’s in the opposition to Obama like the TEA Party, where it is most apparent.

  • Kris

    Yesterday, a man bit a dog. In a truly delicious irony, the dog then bit the man.

  • Andy S

    I am currently reading YOUR book about American decline (Mortal Splendor) from the late 80’s. It would be great to get a post-mortem on the book with hindsight vision.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @ Andy S: At the time I wrote MS, it seemed to me that the blue social model was synonymous with American power and American prosperity and I could not visualize life beyond blue. That was one of if not the first books to look at the way globalization would upend the post WW2 social order in the west, and it took me some time to think through the consequences and to see that maybe the end of an era wasn’t the end of the world.

  • It’s nice to know that Obama doesn’t believe in American Decline, but a good number of his policies are doing a great deal to hasten us down that path.

    While foreign policy is a draw and education is a slight plus (Obama is acting Gorbachev, attempting to save an un-salvageable system), Obamacare, Corporatism (GM, Solyndra), and his attempts to expand the entitlement state, are all policies that will cause stagnation and economic malaise.

    If he gets a second term with Republicans controlling both houses, he may yet luck into being considered a good president.

    I wouldn’t bet on it though.

  • Finally read Kagan’s piece. Really top-notch essay, quite modestly and persuasively argued on the whole. Which is to say (as I read it), refreshingly free from bombast. Kagan actually gives me reason to hope that the best may well be yet to come. Provided, of course, we don’t blow it (again).

    One paragraph towards the end was a particular favorite of mine, albeit with one qualification:

    “. . . BUT THERE IS a danger. It is that in the meantime, while the nation continues to struggle, Americans may convince themselves that decline is indeed inevitable, or that the United States can take a time-out from its global responsibilities while it gets its own house in order. To many Americans, accepting decline may provide a welcome escape from the moral and material burdens that have weighed on them since World War II. Many may unconsciously yearn to return to the way things were in 1900, when the United States was rich, powerful, and not responsible for world order.”

    Unconsciously? MAYBE. But it’s the ones who consciously yearn for it that I worry most about.

  • Mal Armstrong

    This is a critique of the Kagan article from Will Wilkinson:


    It is not clear to me if Wilkinson has a point or if he is just utopian in his assertions that the world will be hunky dory without US power. Any thoughts?

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.