The current affairs of the world is disturbing. The folks in Washington DC are not on their game and they have let their watch down. Currently America is missing in action, and the as the clutch player we are ill prepared and drastically under equipped to face the challenges ahead.
What are the challenges, well folks will say its 1) National Security, 2) Nuclear weapons other weapons of mass destruction and 3) protecting Israel. There are many learned folks that agree with the calculus presented, however, has changed and very few people are recognizing that shift, because of that, we continue to priorioritize all the wrong things, all the while disappearing further from the world stage as a rule maker, arbiter of affairs, innovator and human ingenuity and where with all harnesser along with being the worlds economic engine.
Look, the problems we face today are simple. It’s a five letter problem- C.H.I.N.A. I am not saying that China is an evil empire out to destroy America and Western democracy. No, China is not an evil empire. China is the making of a hybrid monstrosity that is rewriting the rules, perverting notions of human decency and becoming a big world wide bully, and if there is one bully worth having it would really just be us, we are a benevolent bully. China is a ruthless monstrosity of a bully. But I guess China has America to thank as an exceptional role model on how to be a international bully. (again, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a bully, I want us to remain as such)
In fact, over the past decade China has seen what a strong economy, strong military combined with a fine tuned industrial societal process can achieve- war, war and war. See America in the past decade has spent its time playing by the old calculus of strategic national interests and saw the short term benefit of doing business with China while turning a blind eye to its bastardization of free market capitalism to Chinese communism.
The problem we face today with China is that China has shown a successful third path to other countries, while at the same time showed how an obsessed America could be drowned into debt, economic morass and social turmoil from its disastrous foreign policy.
I am focused on the foreign policy blunder because it has sucked our economy dry, it has torn apart the social fabric of America and we have become a nation beholden to a country that not to long ago was up there in enemy status with the USSR. I am not saying we need to go back to a Cold War. Rather, I am saying we need to get our act together and identify our true enemy- ourselves for starters, then China. If we recognize that China is, and I believe there is no evidence contrary to it, trying to be the international hegemon, then we have to recognize that that makes China our arch rival, our nemesis list. For the sake of not going down for a lack of trying or putting up a fight, we need to get our act together.
Our foreign policy needs to shift to recognize that China is our main competitor. Our domestic policy needs to shift to recognize that we need to invest in all the things that will grease the wheels of our society to really distance ourselves from China, outpace it and along the way help our allies to create buffers in order to keep China from really truly achieving the coveted status of number one or even better, from sharing that status with us!
Look, the challenges we face are INCREADIBLE. However, they are not unsurmountable, and there have been many a generations of Americans before us who have witness the brink of collapse and thought that that moment in history was the end of our grand experiment. The thing is when you are in any competition you always scope out your immediate competitors- India, Brazil and South Africa are chump change; Russia is a broken record replaying past glories in order to position itself as something, but because it has China to compete with Russia can be something.
China, now that is a country that has CHALLENGES. For starters- they have a BILLION freaking people, majority of which are living out in the countryside and its infrastructure, its cities and the social fabric that goes with it, are not up to the level to truly allow China to hustle. China also has a social problem, with more economic growth and the spreading of the wealth or access to the wealth, China is faced with a fundamental philosophical conundrum, one which will implode or explode with the next generation of Chinese leaders because they have not figured out a way to cope with the massive theoretical distance that is developing between its political underpinnings as a communist nation and the social changes that are occurring with its economic success providing a alternative way of thinking about Chinese democracy. Already China is dealing with public backlash to regulatory failures by the government. But even that raises the problems that China is faced with, a legal system that cant cope with the globalized nature of law that deals with globalization- the movement of goods, people, ideas and ‘things’- ie diseases.
China also has a million man army, but an army that isn’t technologically advanced. With China’s million man army, comes “99 problems” and border disputes make up the majority of them. The Philippine’s, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan being the largest one of them. Also, Chinese money is welcomed, but Chinese ideology need not apply, which makes China a major lack luster influencer on the world stage.
Regardless of these challenges China might or might not have, what’s clear is that I believe China is our foreign policy and domestic policy weather vein. Anyone who is pushing the terrorism card, or the weapons of mass destruction nonsense or the idea of invading Iran or bombing some other country or whatever is really working to undermine the future of America. (I honestly believe that.) I believe these issues are important, but our foreign and domestic policy moving forward needs to be focused on ensuring that we build an America on the new calculus of international relations and globalization so that we continue to be all that we are and more.
Finally, for many of you reading this you will find that this seems odd. But it isn’t odd. I have always believed that America presented the best model of society in which all folks had a chance to be equal, prosper, and have access to opportunity. We have all those components in our society to be something amazing, and when challenged Americans have always risen to that challenge and made ourselves a more perfect union. I believe that America serves a better model then China. That America can provide the world an example is something I am very proud of. But I don’t at all push the blind contention that America is perfect, or that American exceptionalism trumps everything we could or could not do. America is not perfect. America makes mistakes. America does stupid things that are contrary to its principles.
America will carpet bomb. America will explode nuclear bombs. America will befriend dictators and support apartheid. America will acquiesce were necessary and be politically motivated to be a pain in the arse on other issues. But that is America, all of us, not some of us, but all of us. Because America is also the country that brings innovation. America builds dreams into reality. America pushes humans to challenge themselves and be rewarded for overcoming those obstacles. America expands human notions of fairness and justice, America provides for the destitute across the world and America is an example of the good that could be found in the human spirit.
I am an American. I am sure there can be a Muslim country out there that embodies these principles and values, and I would be more than elated to see that happen in my life time. But that doesn’t mean I care to live there. America is my home. My life experiences are America, and America is as much part of me as its allowed me to benefit from it. I want nothing more than to build on the legacy of Americans before me and pass that down to the next generation of Americans. But we need to fight for that future, or else there will be very little to pass down besides nostalgia at what America used to be.