The USSR's acquisition of the atomic bomb, and later the hydrogen bomb in combination with long-range bombers and inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) made it obvious that isolation had become impossible. The US under Truman committed itself to world leadership in the attempt to prevent Soviet style totalitarianism from smothering the entire globe.
Now, still at the dawn of the 3rd millenium, what is the future of the world geopolitical power balance, in the face of a newly belligerent Russia, a diffuse but ambitious worldwide program of Islamist ambition to conquest, and a rapidly arming mainland China?
The problem today is that the U.S. political system seems to have lost its ability to fix its ailments. The economic problems in the United States today are real, but by and large they are not the product of deep inefficiencies within the U.S. economy, nor are they reflections of cultural decay. They are the consequences of specific government policies. Different policies could quickly and relatively easily move the United States onto a far more stable footing. A set of sensible reforms could be enacted tomorrow to trim wasteful spending and subsidies, increase savings, expand training in science and technology, secure pensions, create a workable immigration process, and achieve significant efficiencies in the use of energy. Policy experts do not have wide disagreements on most of these issues, and none of the proposed measures would require sacrifices reminiscent of wartime hardship, only modest adjustments of existing arrangements. And yet, because of politics, they appear impossible. The U.S. political system has lost the ability to accept some pain now for great gain later on.The Democratic Party in the US combined with much of the US news media, is painting a picture of widespread national malaise for public consumption. They are portraying the US as a defeated nation in the midst of economic and environmental devastation, with no possibility of improvement--unless one of the unqualified Democrats is elected US President, and the dysfunctional Democratic Party led US Congress is allowed to maintain control over the US legislature.
As it enters the twenty-first century, the United States is not fundamentally a weak economy or a decadent society. But it has developed a highly dysfunctional politics. What was an antiquated and overly rigid political system to begin with (now about 225 years old) has been captured by money, special interests, a sensationalist media, and ideological attack groups. The result is ceaseless, virulent debate about trivia -- politics as theater -- and very little substance, compromise, or action. A can-do country is now saddled with a do-nothing political process, designed for partisan battle rather than problem solving. __FareedZakaria
Yet, it is that same dysfunctional Democratic Party that is responsible for most of the problems the US has with energy supply, lack of innovation, lack of business competitiveness, and lack of credibility on the international front.
The "great national malaise" suffered by the US under President Jimmy Carter was a real phenomenon. Unemployment, Inflation Rate, and Interest Rates were in the double digits. The USSR appeared to be in ascendancy and unbeatable. The world had no respect for a US that had run away from its Vietnamese allies with its tail between its legs, for a US that deserted its ally in Iran to the muslim fundamentalist terror state. Jimmy Carter's policies created the malaise, and it lasted until Jimmy Carter was well and gone from government.
The current malaise is largely a creation of the news media in collaboration with the US Democratic Party and powerful allying forces, including various organisations sponsored by George Soros. The US economy is nowhere near the sad shape it assumed in the late 1970s. But perceptions are often more important than reality. As long as the US Democratic Party has the cooperation of the US news media, it is the Democratic Party's perception that will be presented to the larger part of the US public.