The always provocative Charles Krauthammer recently published a piece entitled “Decline Is a Choice” in The Weekly Standard that chronicles how liberal political thought is causing the decline of America.
Here’s a snatch comparing Europe’s decline and America’s heretofore dominance:
The corollary to unchosen European collapse was unchosen American ascendancy. We–whom Lincoln once called God’s “almost chosen people”–did not save Europe twice in order to emerge from the ashes as the world’s co-hegemon. We went in to defend ourselves and save civilization. Our dominance after World War II was not sought. Nor was the even more remarkable dominance after the Soviet collapse. We are the rarest of geopolitical phenomena: the accidental hegemon and, given our history of isolationism and lack of instinctive imperial ambition, the reluctant hegemon–and now, after a near-decade of strenuous post-9/11 exertion, more reluctant than ever.
And here’s the major statement:
Read the whole thing. Certain aspects of American politics need pruning and chastening, but it is a fool’s errand to wish for and work toward the decline of America. It’s popular to do so today, particularly among younger folks (including some evangelicals who swim wherever the cognosceti go), but I wonder whether many of us know what our half-baked ideas will produce in terms of the global balance of power and our own sociopolitical health–and what this could mean for the gospel.
Which leads to my second proposition: Facing the choice of whether to maintain our dominance or to gradually, deliberately, willingly, and indeed relievedly give it up, we are currently on a course towards the latter. The current liberal ascendancy in the United States–controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture–has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policies. Indeed, they work synergistically to ensure that outcome.
We certainly don’t need America to survive in her past form (we don’t need any country, for that matter), but neither should we fail to recognize that we are a strategic country, both politically and evangelistically.