Over the long term, what American policy makers need to remember (and what I fear too many have forgotten in both parties over the last couple of decades) is that America’s international standing and security ultimately depend on health of our domestic economy — and that the economy in turn ultimately depends on the dynamic, self-reliant, entrepreneurial and, yes, virtuous character of the American people. Unless our educational, cultural and political institutions reflect and support these characteristics, American power could rot away at the core.
Americans still don’t think in terms of losing to a foreign power. They shouldn’t. They should think in terms of losing to their own folly domestically.
The thing that is the most wrong about the Obama Administration isn’t that it couldn’t wave its hand and get us out of this economic ditch. It’s its desire to centralise everything in Washington, thus draining the nation’s strength. With the debt load we have, that process of decline may not be a long one either.