By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
In professional sports, fans all acknowledge that there can be one Super Bowl Champion, one baseball team that ends up with the World Series Pennant, one hockey club that wins the Stanley Cup, and one race car driver in the 500 mile races at Indianapolis who gets the checkered flag. In all sports, amateur or professional, there are many more losers than winners.
Most human activities use competitive evaluations of skills and competence in order to determine who the best performers are. With the expansion of global competition in sports, business, trade, and spying, our nation is ill-prepared for the upheaval caused by those disgruntled and hungry humans who are led to believe that America is responsible for any unfair competition.
In a world full of ambitious foreign leaders that blame the United States for its imperialistic policies, its disproportionate use of natural resources, its futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its overbearing promotion of Democracy and human rights, our country can do nothing “right” but send monetary aid, cancel foreign debt, and ship needed supplies to help those poor countries that are economically overcome by tsunamis, earthquakes, drought, and plagues. When the emergencies are passed, who remembers American assistance? The few victims who survive.
The rich and powerful are usually hated by the poor and weak. But the wealthy are always turned to by the beggars when “times are tough.” In the District of Corruption a major issue being discussed is who is to pay for the expenses of the federal government. The top 1% of individual income tax payers? The multinational companies who do business in the US? The exporters and importers? (Increasing tariffs won’t make us any friends overseas!)
The Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy and the federal government’s very lax control of the mortgage banking community and the Wall Street peddlers of derivatives and credit default swaps led to an economic crisis that affected the global economy. Just another reason to fault the US for its greed and arrogance in high places.
When we ignore what creates our ugly American image abroad, we are indirectly asking for more resistance to our policies and more hatred of our success. No one we patronize in a foreign country will “trash talk” tourists from America as long as they are spending devalued U.S. dollars in their places of business. Behind our backs, however, many foreigners loathe our economic power, our cheerful casualness, and our inability to speak anything but English.
With the rise of the influence of China, India, and the Muslim countries, our dominance is on the wane. America is losing respect overseas due to the incompetence of our leaders. We should end our meddling in the local politics of foreign countries and pass that job along to the United Nations. This nation is not wealthy enough to become the defenders of the weak and exploited all by ourselves. Forays to bring about regime changes in faraway places only add to the animosity abroad that already exists.
America is losing jobs, sales, influence, and friends. We are unaware how rapidly things can deteriorate in the 21st century. The disaster of 9/11/2001 and the Great Recession proved that our bureaucracy’s watchfulness was insufficient and our overall preparation inadequate. A champion is revered until the next bout, match, race, or game. The terrorist gnats and the aggravating mosquitoes like Kim Jong- Il are bluffing because our leaders are afraid to use our military power to put them in their place. These annoyances are testing our leaders’ resolve to play the role of superpower and attack them with a vengeance. China is challenging the U.S. economically with its undervalued currency. And the Muslim leaders are rejecting our lifestyle and culture by inciting and financing suicide bombers.
On all fronts we are losing our competitive edge, and we are expected by our leaders to overlook our ineffective role in this new century. That’s acceptable, if their political rhetoric will be revised and their ambitions curtailed to meet the unwelcome circumstances of becoming a toothless country that won’t stand up to intimidations.
The options on the table are two: come home and go back to making this country a place where innovation, creativity, frugality, and industriousness drive our citizens: or use appropriate weapons to avoid the continual humiliation of Somali pirates, dictators like Hugo Chaves, and organized and well financed terrorists like those of al Qaeda and the Mexican drug lords.
Do young Americans want to play hard ball or take their balls and bats home, put them on the shelf, and play with their hi-tech toys and violent computer games? We can be winners either way we go, but not the way we are preceding today. There is no vision, no popular commitment, no strategy, and no money to continue the charade of “Superpower.” Our bluff has been called, as we called the bluff of the Soviets when they overspent and ran out of credit.
Let’s accept our nation’s demotion to “also ran” and start to energize individual initiative in this country to become the best example of a unified association of young and old folks who are bent on improving all phases of modern civilization in this hemisphere! Domestic progress benefits all those who live inside our porous borders.