Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The End

What if America just fails? I mean, now, at this time. What if we can't solve the deficit issues, and the United States goes into default on its debts, both foreign and domestic? What if we can't maintain our economy, and we wind up hurting for resources because we can't afford to pay what other countries can? What if we start one war too many, and out military apparatus becomes hopelessly damaged? What if the divisions between citizens coalesce enough along geographical lines that the dissolution of the Union becomes realistic and workable, either peacefully, or through another civil war? We all know that nothing is going to last forever. Despite the attachment that Americans have to feeling on top, sooner or later, that's not going to be the case anymore. We're going to start sliding down the totem pole, and someone else will be on top. (I wonder if the English, for instance, take solace in the idea that we stood on their shoulders to get where we are?)

The idea that the United States will eventually no longer be #1 seems to fill the entire nation with a terror that chills us to the bone. I wonder if part of it isn't the realization that the new #1 might be in a position to do unto us, as we have done onto others. Or if it's the fact that the United States is a uniquely blended place - will our fall from the summit mean that the Melting Pot wasn't such a good idea after all? Maybe we've simply invested too heavily of ourselves. It's hard to watch something founder when you can no longer easily draw the line between it and yourself.

But its coming - perhaps sooner than we think. We've been able to put off out problems for decades now, but eventually, the issue is forced, and one has to find a solution. What happens if we don't? Will we be ready? Or will the inevitable take us willfully unawares?

No comments: