1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Right man for the job (decline and fall)?

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Mock Turtle, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Compassion, understanding, and tolerance.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    5,236
    Ratings:
    +2,260
    Religion:
    Often the quickest path from ignorance to arrogance
    Patrick Cockburn: The US has faced decline before – but nothing like what’s to come

    The US may be reaching its “Chernobyl moment” as it fails to lead in combating the coronavirus epidemic. As with the nuclear accident in the Soviet Union in 1986, a cataclysm is exposing systemic failings that have already weakened US hegemony in the world. Whatever the outcome of the pandemic, nobody is today looking to Washington for a solution to the crisis. The fall in US influence was visible this week at virtual meetings of world leaders where the main US diplomatic effort was devoted to an abortive attempt to persuade the others to sign a statement referring to the “Wuhan virus”, as part of a campaign to blame China for the coronavirus epidemic. Demonising others as a diversion from one’s own shortcomings is a central feature of President Trump’s political tactics. Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton took up the same theme, saying that “China unleashed this plague on the world, and China has to be held accountable”. US failure goes far beyond Trump’s toxic political style: American supremacy in the world since the Second World War has been rooted in its unique capacity to get things done internationally by persuasion or by the threat or use of force. But the inability of Washington to respond adequately to Covid-19 shows that this is no longer the case and crystallises a perception that American competence is vanishing. The change in attitude is important because superpowers, such as the British Empire, the Soviet Union in the recent past or the US today, depend on a degree of bluff. They cannot afford to put their all-powerful image to the test too often because they cannot be seen to fail: an exaggerated picture of British strength was shattered by the Suez Crisis in 1956, as was that of the Soviet Union by the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The coronavirus crisis is the equivalent of Suez and Afghanistan for Trump’s America. Indeed, these crises seem minor compared to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will have far greater impact because everybody on the planet is a potential victim and feels threatened. Faced with such a mega-crisis, the failure of the Trump administration to lead responsibly is proving extraordinarily destructive to the US position in the world.

    I'm not sure how anyone would reasonably defend Trump in the way that he has behaved in the last month or so, and many other leaders from the right (often trashing their advisors), that is, their inability to take onboard proper advice when their own perspectives seem to dominate their thinking.

    Comments?
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Daemon Sophic

    Daemon Sophic Avatar in flux

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,662
    Ratings:
    +1,819
    Sadly, I’m forced to agree. This is far from the USA that I was born into. From Reagan gutting the infrastructure by taking money from the government and giving it to the rich......to Bush Jr. making it worse by taking more from the working class and giving it straight to the uber-wealthy.....and now Trump, pushing the flaming wreck over the cliff edge by being a laughing-stock megaphone for the extreme right’s non-sensical conspiracy theories, childish errors in planning, economics, and geopolitics, and a general disconnect from reality; which have become our nation’s standard approach to real-life events.
    As usual, it is taking extensive loss of life for reality to reassert its control over everything, and to make people recognize our failures in doing what should have been done in the past. :(
    The question is, will we keep this harsh lesson in mind when recovery begins?
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    2,326
    Ratings:
    +522
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    That is not certain and how you end up, is not given. You could turn away for being a republic with a constitution or you could end up like most of Europe with a stronger welfare state. Something else could also happen. The answer is blowing in the wind.

    Regards
    Mikkel
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry Verisimilitudinous

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    13,061
    Ratings:
    +2,630
    Religion:
    Panreligious mystical paganism
    Reading this, I think of lyrics from Guns N' Roses, "Civil War":

    "The billions shift from side to side
    And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
    For the love of God and our human rights."
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    73,181
    Ratings:
    +32,812
    Religion:
    Non-Theistic Mysticism
    Mr. Trump is handing the world to China -- and the Chinese have been behaving like they know it. The only people on the planet who are still clueless about what's going on are those who are paying absolutely no attention to it -- and Mr. Trump's cult followers.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry Verisimilitudinous

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    13,061
    Ratings:
    +2,630
    Religion:
    Panreligious mystical paganism
    A Republic with a Constitution and folks with the power and influence to profit from it at the expense of the voters.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    2,326
    Ratings:
    +522
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    Well, yes, but that could get worse,

    Regards
    Mikkel
     
  8. Guitar's Cry

    Guitar's Cry Verisimilitudinous

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    13,061
    Ratings:
    +2,630
    Religion:
    Panreligious mystical paganism
    True, and unfortunately unregulated capitalism is a gate for folks to take advantage. I am not against free market ideals per se, but given human population growth, human tendency towards violence and cruelty, and technology capable of damaging the environment, regulating it NEEDS to occur, with appropriate support systems for folks who need it.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    12,039
    Ratings:
    +6,044
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    There's a lot of truth here, although my impression is that America's hegemony and status in the world began a slow decline during the Vietnam era and was greatly pronounced throughout the 70s, with the energy crisis, Watergate, and ending the decade with the Iranian hostage crisis. America's decline and fall were pretty well-known and understood back then.

    Reagan and his ilk tried to create an illusion that things were turning around and that it was "morning in America again," and so many people bought that lie that they believed that America was back on top. When he and his supporters pushed for outsourcing, they demonstrated to the world that America was becoming even more weaker, even to the point where we were no longer capable of manufacturing anything. Our trade deficit has been a clear and obvious indicator that America had weakened considerably - and everybody knew it (except for myopic conservative capitalists and Wall Street raiders).

    Another problem I've noticed over the years is the incurable optimism which has led to arrogant overconfidence and the beliefs that we can do no wrong and that nothing bad will ever happen. Trump is a product of that way of thinking, but not the originator of it. The "don't worry, be happy" mentality that dominated the Reagan years.

    Now, all that optimism has suddenly evaporated and people think this might be the end. Over the years, I've come to realize that one shouldn't really trust the media when they tell us to be optimistic, but likewise, I'm not inclined to trust them when they tell us to be pessimistic.

    I'm also not inclined to make this into any kind of political football either. As the crisis is still ongoing, we don't really know how it will play out. There are too many unknown factors which could affect the outcome.

    One of America's strengths has been in our ability to adapt and improvise. We've also learned from our mistakes. I don't think we need to worry so much about "America's supremacy in the world" or our influence; it seems the rest of the world is more worried about that than Americans are at present. I think most of us just want to survive and get through this somehow, even if it turns out that we can no longer be the world's policeman or hold some measure of hegemony or influence. We don't really need that anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    6,189
    Ratings:
    +6,054
    Religion:
    None, a humanist who doesn't even worship humans
    Something I wish that all Americans would do is to pay attention to the news from both sides of the political spectrum. If you're a CNN watcher, take a look at Fox, or vice-versa. I myself read 3 newspapers every day (not much for television). One very liberal, one very conservative, and one that tries to somewhere in between. Then I weigh what I've read with what I actually see around me, and come to my own conclusions.

    But I'm absolutely willing to bet that the Trump supporters who drool over Fox wouldn't go near CNN if their lives depended on it -- and therefore they never have to look at the down side of their hero.

    Let me just say, by the way, that as a Canadian, living in Ontario, I have never been a fan of the Conservative Doug Ford who is now our Premier. However, I have been observing him during this crisis, and he has been strong, resolute, calm, on time (his briefings never start late), up-front and honest. Has he got everything right? I don't know...and neither does anybody else. But because he is doing his level best in a very trying time, he now has my support.

    If I were an American, I could not bring myself to say the same for your president.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Compassion, understanding, and tolerance.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    5,236
    Ratings:
    +2,260
    Religion:
    Often the quickest path from ignorance to arrogance
    I too try to look at the news from both sides, although definitely having a foot planted in one side, and although our UK government has probably not done the best it could during this crisis, I'm at least not ashamed of the one in charge representing us.
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Regurgitating right wing propaganda since 2010
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    164,209
    Ratings:
    +50,320
    Religion:
    Bokononist Atheism
    I've heard how Ameristan has fallen so many times.
    If any one of those prognostications were true,
    it'd have done so before Trump even became Prez.
    We'll survive him. I guarantee it.
     
  13. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    7,842
    Ratings:
    +8,129
    It isn’t that simple. Days before the Berlin Wall came down, leaders in East Germany held a conference in which they celebrated something or other, only to turn round and say the wall will stand for another hundred years.

    The collapse of communism in eastern Europe and the USSR was partly because the parties were willing to reform. Gorbachev didn’t send the tanks in like he predecessors did in Hungary or Czechoslovakia. Very few people anticipated the “end” even when things started to unravel. Chernobyl only demonstrated the need for reform. It showed the rot was there but it was far from automatic that it would lead to a collapse.

    The path to an actual social and political revolution in the United States as the equivalent of what happened in the USSR is far from obvious. The easiest way would be for Bernie Sanders to win the democratic nomination by a series of landslides in the primaries or in a contested convention, then win the Presidency and be America’s Gorbachev, dismantling the evil empire from the inside.

    Only, like Gorbachev, the reforms fail, the economy collapses, a military coup is attempted and fails and the American people radicalise to the point where the government is overthrown and replaced.

    I would urge caution before saying the system is going to collapse. That is far from a fore gone conclusion. But America’s response to the pandemic does show how deep the rot has gone and that it the U.S. government is a danger to its own citizens.

    The Marxist in me says, the pandemic won’t cause anything new, but will accelerate pre-existing processes and aggregate antagonisms. But the human factor- the choices we make- remains. If we step up, things will get interesting.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    14,248
    Ratings:
    +6,633
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    Generalizations about what is and the negatives of what is a 'welfare state,' does not address the problem of health care in the USA where the wealthy and the members of Congress have 100% health care, and lower and middle income have insufficient health care. Relying on expensive emergency room heath care, and looses do not resolve the problem.

    Please present adequate solutions?
     
  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    14,248
    Ratings:
    +6,633
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    Limping and wounded without the dignity and influence of a leading nation in the world.
     
  16. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    2,326
    Ratings:
    +522
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    There are no objective adequate solutions. There are different subjective ways to go about and it depends on what you consider workable. In practice there might be a way forward towards a form of welfare state, but it still depends on a degree of subjectivity. In the end the welfare state in part only works if you believe in it.

    Regards
    Mikkel
     
  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    6,189
    Ratings:
    +6,054
    Religion:
    None, a humanist who doesn't even worship humans
    No doubt...but your relationship with the rest of the world will be forever changed, and not for the better.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    14,248
    Ratings:
    +6,633
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    Huh?!?!?!?! The fog index of your response is overwhelming.
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Regurgitating right wing propaganda since 2010
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    164,209
    Ratings:
    +50,320
    Religion:
    Bokononist Atheism
    I'm OK with not leading the world.
    If we'd done that well, it would be one thing.
    But our leadership has too often been about bombing enemies we'd previously created.

    Dignity....indignity....not things to worry over.
     
  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Regurgitating right wing propaganda since 2010
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    164,209
    Ratings:
    +50,320
    Religion:
    Bokononist Atheism
    The rest of the world can go suck eggs.
    They didn't like Nixon.
    They did like Clinton.
    They didn't like Dubya.
    They did like Obama.
    They don't like Trump.
    They'll continue being fickle.
    It's what they do.
     
Loading...