aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

The diagnosis is the easy part

A world dominated by China will be an uglier world. To keep China from bullying other nations, the US and our friends and allies need to decide where the boundaries (political, military, economic, social) are, then enforce those boundaries. To lead that coalition, the US needs not only a more well-thought out foreign policy, but a more robust military (particularly in our long-neglected surface fleet). And we need to once again engage the world in trade. And to do all that, we need to get our fiscal house in order.

We need to pay down the debt. We need to quit inventing new benefits. We need to quit squandering money generally. We need to pare back the administrative state. We need to re-orient our priorities so that the non-discretionary part of our budget is under control. Meanwhile, we need to quit relying on China for our manufacturing (and for buying up our debt). All this is the work of many years, and it must be sustained for at least forty years – all of which requires a broad consensus in government, which requires a broad consensus in the people.

But let’s face it. There is NO appetite in this country for any of that. We are chasing moonbeams, denouncing each other as oppressors, coddling political violence. Each of us believes one can declare one’s own reality – and then force everyone else to live in it. The sheer volume of Stupid is overwhelming, and not just Stupid, but Nasty. The problem isn’t the fools and would-be tyrants in Washington, but the fools and would-be tyrants in every town and institution in the country.

I was born at the very height of US power and influence. That I may live to see the curtailment of it and the rise of a despicable regime that contemplates the enslavement of millions – billions! – grieves me more than I can say. And again, the problem isn’t in Washington. It’s in Us.

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