China continues to remind us that whatever this century will be, it won't be the American Century. This makes me think of a question I asked a while ago: When was the last time America did anything that wowed the world? Can't think of anything. Let's be honest, what has America done but slowly sink into the mire of history?
Why? Many reasons. I'm convinced that the unrestrained, unchecked, and unbalanced focus on America's sins is one reason. Just like a person too obsessed with the negative will end up an empty shell, so a nation that can't see any good without harping on the bad will have little reason to inspire its people to think of anything but themselves. And that's certainly what has happened. While other civilizations and nations rise as we decline, you don't get the feeling we even care.
Oh, we're bothered when the first pangs from the birth of a new Super Power takes hold, like our floundering economy or decreasing sense of security. But other than that, most Americans seem to focus on two things: how much they can still buy, and how they can convince themselves that it's all the other Americans' fault that we're in this mess.
Meanwhile tick-tock, tick-tock. The monitor is approaching flat line, and those who will be alive when it happens will be hit with the full measure of our folly and short sightedness. Is it inevitable? No. Not yet. But with each passing day that we continue our downward spiral, it becomes less likely we'll be able to pull out of the fall.