Cultural Revolutions

Eve of Destruction?

Like some of you, I’ve been on the receiving end of an e-mail bombardment from friends who have expressed their shock and dismay over the recent shutdown of the U.S. federal government and the entire political and legislative impasse between the White House and congressional Republicans.

I’ve been told by my British, French, and Chinese correspondents that the current mess in Washington is a clear sign that America is in the process of decline and may be on the eve of destruction, that we need to put our political and economic house in order before it is too late, and that if we won’t do so ASAP we could end up losing our “moral authority” in the eyes of the world and our “global leadership position,” whatever that means.

Hey, the Brits, the French, and the Germans might refuse to allow us to protect their security, including their access to the oil resources of the Persian Gulf on which they (and not we) are dependent, and may even be forced to increase their spending on defense and reduce their vacation time.  Quelle horreur!

And the Chinese are actually threatening to withdraw their investments in the United States (while denying us access to some of their protected markets), sell their U.S. securities, and buy—well, eurozone bonds instead.  Go ahead.  Let’s see how that works for you.

Similarly, there has been a lot of dismay among our “allies”...

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