Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 19, 2013

America's not in decline, it's on the rise

(Continued)

Of course, the economic recovery is incomplete, and much remains to be done on the debt and growth, but as Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr aptly noted in July 2012, “America is just one budget deal away from ending all talk of America being in decline.” Easier said than done, but still easier to address than the mammoth challenges facing the emerging powers.

As partisan as Washington is today, the United States has overcome episodes of far greater social discord and political turmoil. The recent souring of public opinion on the obstructionists in Congress is a healthy reminder of America’s propensity for political renewal.

In this dawning era of strategic advantage, the United States will confront foreign policy challenges largely associated with weakness and instability abroad. Washington will wrestle with the consequences of a fragile China and its implications for the economics and politics of East Asia. The Middle East will continue its painful and bloody revolutionary period. And Europe appears increasingly unable to move beyond protracted stagnation, eroding its ability to play a constructive role in world affairs.

But being lonely at the top will also engender huge opportunities to build the kind of liberal order that the United States failed to consolidate in the 1990s. Rather than simply reengineering the existing system, this will require U.S. leadership to build international norms, rules and institutions from the ground up. Washington will have new leverage to renegotiate its relationships and engagements with the Middle East; the success of U.S. sanctions on Iran is only the first manifestation of America as an energy powerhouse.

The United States can also lead in knitting together historic trade pacts across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, reenergizing a first-rate global trade agenda long sabotaged by protectionism and low standards. And Washington can use its newfound strength to exercise restraint and develop international rules around emerging security issues such as drone warfare and offensive cyber-capabilities. All of this will contribute to a more prosperous and secure United States.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

  • Big insurers need better oversight Could Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. threaten the stability of the financial system? The U.S.’s top regulators are asking themselves this question as they consider whether Berkshire and other large insurers should come under Federal Reserve

    July 25, 2014

  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks