As frustrated Americans fight each other in losing partisanship battles, leaders of other nations sadly see the United States for what it isn’t: A once-strong global leader who can no longer even protect itself, much less the world from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
“America has not done badly, it has done exceptionally badly,” Dominique Moïsi, a political scientist and senior adviser at the Paris-based Institut Montaigne, tells The New York Times.
“America prepared for the wrong kind of war,” Moïsi said. “It prepared for a new 9/11, but instead a virus came. It raises the question: Has America become the wrong kind of power with the wrong kind of priorities?”
Americas should be asking themselves the same questions but they are caught up in a pandemic they ignored for too long and listened to a corrupt, floundering president ruleed by an outsized ego and too little ability.
America once told a story of hope, and not just to Americans. West Germans like Mr. Maas, who grew up on the front line of the Cold War, knew that story by heart, and like many others in the world, believed it.
But nearly three decades later, America’s story is in trouble.
The country that defeated fascism in Europe 75 years ago next month, and defended democracy on the continent in the decades that followed, is doing a worse job of protecting its own citizens than many autocracies and democracies.
“There is not only no global leadership, there is no national and no federal leadership in the United States,” said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development. “In some sense this is the failure of leadership of the U.S. in the U.S.”
Gerald Haug, a German climatologist who did research at Columbia University in New York, says the United States has many of the world’s best and brightest scientific minds.
“They’re not being listened to,” he says. “It’s a tragedy.”
Historia Garton Ash says the final outcome of dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic is still unknown.
“All of our economies are going to face a terrible test,” Ash says. “No one knows who will come out stronger at the end.”
Moisi predicts one outcome will be a reordering of the stronger powers in the world. He adds:
Europe’s social democratic systems are not only more human, they leave us better prepared and fit to deal with a crisis like this than the more brutal capitalistic system in the United States.
Sometime in 2021 we come out of this crisis and we will be in 2030, There will be more Asia in the world and less West.
Ash says America must face the realities of history and a “long line of empires that rose and fell.”
To a historian it’s nothing new, that’s what happens. It’s a very familiar story in world history that after a certain amount of time a power declines.
You accumulate problems, and because you’re such a strong player, you can carry these dysfunctionalities for a long time. Until something happens and you can’t anymore.
America has one remaining wild card, most agree. The presidential election in November.
American voters have a chance to throw out the power-mad despot that has set this nation on a course for failure. In the end, it’s their choice to put this nation back on course.
(Our thanks to The New York Times for their valuable information for this article.)
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