America is Not Invincible

It is a plausible assertion to suggest that possibly the greatest threat to the United States is the pervasive sense among so many Americans that this country is invincible.  There seems to be a sense that because we are [presently] the world’s only Super Power, that somehow this position is self-sustaining, and destined to be everlasting…that any looming threats, internal or external, can ultimately be overcome by spending our way out of it.

They are wrong on all accounts.

America’s place in the world order, in history itself, is not assured by its past legacy (grand as that may be in many respects), but by (among other things) its ability to recognize its own limitations and to protect that which constitutes its sovereignty.  The core fibers that hold a Republic such as ours together, and strong from within, have a breaking point.  It serves us well to remember this.

One critical example of this dangerous spiral is made clear in the 2008 documentary I.O.U.S.A., and done so in a way that’s easy to understand, spoken in plain terms, and with a great deal of interesting, thought-provoking insights and information.

To give you an idea of what I mean here is a simple graph depicting America’s top 5 trade deficits (in 2007).  These are the countries to whom we owe the most money. As you look at this, remember that China is a Communist state, that the “Oil Exporters” are Muslim states, and that none of them are particularly fond of American Democracy or Western Culture.

trade deficits

This next screen capture shows a graph depicting the moments in U.S. history in which our Federal Debt (as a percentage of GDP) was at its most dangerous levels, and why.  Notice that the most critical point (at 122%) was during World War II.  Care to guess where it is now?  Watch the documentary to find out.

federal debt

I’ll close this post with an excerpt from the film:

If you look at what’s happened to great Republics in the past, they generally have not fallen because of external threats; they’ve fallen because of internal threats.  Let’s look at Rome as an example, which is the longest standing Republic in the history of mankind.  The Roman Republic fell for many reasons, but three seem to resonate today:  Declining moral values and political civility at home, overconfident and overextended militarily around the world, and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.”

David Walker, Former Controller General of the Government Accountability Office

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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