Charles Krauthammer has given a speech that might be one of the most important of the Obama Era. It is called “Decline Is A Choice,” and is printed in full at the Weekly Standard. He argues that Obama is pursuing a path of willful American decline — a decline that is neither necessary nor inevitable, but preferred by the left.
Instead of the unipolar world we were all surprised to find 20 years ago with the fall of communism, Obama wants a world in which the USA is not a superpower, but just one nation among many. It’s an egalitarian vision, in which all nations, good and bad, are equal.
Krauthammer calls the ideology behind Obama’s policy of American decline “the New Liberalism.” I think this is just names New Leftists who are no longer scruffy young protesters, but the middle aged Democrat establishment. It represents the radicalization of the Democrat Party; the Scoop Jackson wing — Democrats who were anti-communist and strong on defense — is now just footnote in modern history.
American decline raises questions about the future that the left seems not to care about. Will we have peace or war? Will America’s enemies grow more powerful and aggressive as America declines?
From Krauthammer’s speech:
Henry Kissinger once said that the only way to achieve peace is through hegemony or balance of power. Well, hegemony is out. As Obama said in his General Assembly address, “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” (The “can” in that declaration is priceless.) And if hegemony is out, so is balance of power: “No balance of power among nations will hold.”
Robert Tracinski, writing today in reaction to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, compares Obama to another recipient of the prize, Jimmy Carter:
Consider the legacy of Carter’s term in office.
Carter withdrew American support for the shah in Iran, then failed to mount any effectual response to the seizure of the US embassy and its staff—all of which allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini to establish a brutal Islamist regime which has been the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, a supporter of Palestinian terrorism, civil war in Lebanon, and insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a regime that has repeatedly murdered and tortured its own citizens.
By allowing a Communist takeover in Nicaragua, Carter encouraged a legacy of socialist strongmen that is still riling Latin America to this day.
Carter’s weakness in Latin America and Iran also emboldened the Soviets to invade Afghanistan, inaugurating three decades of bloody civil war and providing the proving ground for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
So Carter’s legacy is three decades of chaos and killing—and the growth of three of today’s biggest threats to world peace. Yet Carter is infamous for his haughty, priggish sense of moral superiority.
This is what the Nobel Peace Prize really stands for: irresponsible moral posturing in the service of the leftist delusion that appeasement will bring peace, when all it really brings is more war.
Come to think of it, that makes Barack Obama the perfect recipient.
If Carter’s legacy is three decades of chaos and killing, what will be the legacy of the architect of America’s decline? What will be the end of debasing America in order to appease the world?
In the long run appeasement is not practical. We learned that before World War II, and I fear we are about to learn it again.