Several times during the last weeks I've wanted to write about some of the 'bad news' that keeps showing up, but I just couldn't find the right words. It's hard to find a starting place when there so many issues. In fact, there is hardly room in a column to enumerate all the threats and challenges that we face as citizens of free nations who are supporting the cause of expanding liberty and human rights throughout the globe. And this time, I want to zoom in on America, which has long held a very important place in that cause.
A particularly ominous sign is the U.S. Dollar's downward slide. It's been the talk of the world for some time, even if it has become a topic in America only recently. Back when the trend was starting, I was shocked when I read that the administration actually welcomed a weaker dollar. America's overall strength for many years has benefited from the strength of its currency. If you haven't been keeping up with news of the dollar's plunge, it's time to have a look.
Militarily, there are new challenges all the time. (Although these may well be ignored by those who trust in the Post-Cold-War philosophy that all future warfare will be transformed to smaller-scale operations against rogue states and terrorists.) Losing satellites, facing mass cyber attacks, and dealing with EMP 'e-bombs' are just a few of the scenarios that are increasingly likely in a major war. America's Air Force, the initial enabler of almost all military missions, has had to make desperate adjustments to deal with lack of funding. We have about half of the new F-22 fighters that the Air Force believes it needs. Planes are being flown past their original lifespans. China is beefing up its Air Force, attempting to model it after the strong points of our own. For many months, like a broken record, we heard the J-10 compared to the F-16. Then, suddenly we found out that it was more like a Eurofighter. That looks like either the end of a successful disinformation campaign or a successful self-delusion campaign, and it probably helped the F-22's critics in their efforts to limit the program.
Socially and morally, America is challenged too. From the politically correct to the socialist to the greedy and the downright profane, we've been subjected to annoying, unhealthy, unproductive, and unwise experiments in media, institutions, business, and society. (Not that you'd get the busybodies and moneymakers in charge of those efforts to admit anything of the kind.) Politically, America is dangerously divided (remember the old wisdom of Divided We Fall?) and preparing to overreact to problems with a predictable pendulum swing that will bring about more problems. Also politically, we face the continuation of terrible policies with appeasement of major enemies to freedom and human rights. (Along with appeasement, politicians and officials are often deceived and sometimes bribed or blackmailed.) Culturally, America faces the problem of a widespread anti-Americanism throughout the world at precisely the time when it needs a global groundswell of friendship, understanding, support, and influence. And this is not such a profound mystery. To win hearts and minds, we don't need packaged PR campaigns. We need the real thing, in living color.
I could go on, but no matter what external threats may arise, you must understand that America's worst enemies aren't the Communists or the jihadists. No, the most terrible enemies are actually some of our fellow Americans—they are Americans in a great variety of types of influential positions who have done much to weaken our country in a multitude of ways: politically, economically, socially, culturally, morally, militarily.
A strong America can resist any enemy. It will be prepared and focused. A weak and misguided America may be able to bring about its own undoing without much help from its enemies—of which there are many. But they are all too willing to help. If the current trend continues, I believe there is a distinct possibility that America will face a war with one or more major adversaries (including China under the Communist Party) in the next decade or so, against the backdrop of the ongoing challenge of terrorism. The chances of major conflict will increase if America's problems and weaknesses increase. And considering the current interests of America's self-proclaimed and would-be adversaries, there may be nasty and difficult surprises in store if there is such a conflict.
If America commits suicide, or loses a great deal of strength and influence through senseless actions against itself, the Communists and the jihadists will be closer to winning by default. With their main obstacle, the former leader of the free world, out of the game they would have a chance at exercising power on an even greater scale. Considering what they've done so far, it's not a pretty scenario to contemplate.
America is an amazing nation, and if you are American, I ask you to wake up and try to help turn things around. Let's stand up to some of America's most dangerous enemies—the ones right here at home—and stop the damage they have been doing to our homes, communities, institutions, industries, cities, states, government, military, and nation. Let's stop the unwise choices, the destructive policies. Let's make this nation a strong and shining haven of freedom and good values, healthy and extremely well-defended. Let's look seriously at what we need to do to ensure the well-being and safety of our nation and foster the light of liberty throughout the world. Finally, don't allow wrong-headed people to chart the future for yourself and your children. (And believe me, there are some wrong-headed people who want to do the charting.) Get involved, and help chart it yourself.
I believe it's still not too late to turn things around; otherwise, it would hardly make sense to write this column. America still has great strength and great values within it, just like a great person who's starting to come down with a serious illness or becoming engaged in a harmful addiction. But I do not speak lightly. It would take huge effort, not without difficulty and some sacrifice, to put things right in this country to the point where I would not feel compelled to issue warnings about potential crises lurking around the corner. There may come a day when it's too late, but for now, it's a time of enormous and urgent opportunity for change. (And no, I don't mean the kind of predictable pendulum change that some have in mind. I mean healing and repairing the nation from the inside out and addressing myriad problems, many of which have been covered here in China e-Lobby news and commentary.) The picture is not completely dark by any means; there are always good accomplishments too, and the future could be more certainly bright with a big of work. With a comprehensively healthy and well-respected nation, the threat of major war would be reduced, and the lives of the citizens enriched.
I'm sure many Americans would scorn a message like the one I'm wrapping up in this paragraph. It's easy to laugh off any idea of serious doom and gloom and any call to reform, repent, revive, and restore. Nevertheless, this is my responsibility as a commentator on the forces in the world in our time. If I'm wrong about the level of danger, my call to action will have done no harm, and will have helped strengthen the nation in other ways. If I'm right, there may be big trouble ahead if there is no action now. People laughed at the idea of jihadists on 9/10, but no one here (in some other countries that was not the case) was laughing on 9/11. Unfortunately, America is a society that lives always in 9/10 mode: always ready for the last big thing, never expecting the next big thing. God bless America—and stir its people up to revive their nation.