Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution, and the author of many books. He also writes regularly and artfully on what is almost the modern day equivalent of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the opening from his latest column:
The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart. Let’s take a tour of the disasters.
Germany in 2008 enthusiastically hosted candidate Barack Obama for his so-called “Victory Column” speech. Now Germans suddenly sound as though they are near-enemies of the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly was furious that her cellphone was tapped by American intelligence agents. She just kicked the top CIA official out of Germany, further enraged that the U.S. had recruited at least one German official to provide intelligence on the German government. Polls show that Germans find Vladimir Putin’s Russian tyranny almost as popular as Barack Obama’s America.
Listing Obama’s failures is happening a lot lately, and Hanson includes at least one or two items that others might miss, such as this:
Japan is becoming similarly frustrated with the United States. It is rearming like crazy to confront an aggressive China. Both Asian powers apparently assume that Mr. Obama won’t guarantee the security of the Japanese as America had in the past.
Hanson includes references to the Middle East, of course, and the fact that “Taking U.S. peacekeepers out of Iraq proved a disaster.” Syria, Israel, the Palestinians, Crimea, Putin, and the Ukraine of course, are mentioned, but he doesn’t stop there:
Foreign leaders don’t trust the U.S. They are baffled as to whether America is guilty of incompetence in hiring such a roguish dropout snoop in the first place, or guilty of cynically spying on America’s best friends — or both.
The economy shrank last quarter. Record numbers of adult Americans are still not working. Zero interest rates have destroyed the tradition of passbook savings and the very idea of thrift.
No-interest financial policies ignited a stampede to the stock market that has further enriched the 1-percenters — an artificial boom that everyone thinks will soon bust.
This might be on everyone’s list of favorites: “The borrowing of $7 trillion has proved no stimulus.” That’s a nice way to say it.
Of course there’s the crisis at the southern border, the IRS scandals, Obamacare, inflation, Benghazi (plus the infamous video), and Bowe Bergdahl, “who was traded for five of the most dangerous jihadists the United States had in its custody.”
Hanson asks, “What keeps the country afloat this terrible summer?”
Some American companies produce more gas and oil than ever despite, not because of, the Obama administration. Most Americans still get up every day, work hard and pay more taxes than they receive in subsidies. American troops remain the most formidable in the world despite the confusion of their superiors. The law, regardless of the administration, is still followed by most. And most do not duck out on their daily responsibilities in order to golf, play pool or go on junkets.
It is still a hard thing to derail America in a summer — but then again, we have a long way to go until fall.
You can read the entire article at the Washington Times.