May 24, 2007 12:00 AM
No Decline Here
Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.
By Victor Davis Hanson
from National Review Online
A better way to assess our chances at maintaining our preeminence is simply to ask the same questions that are the historical barometers of our nation’s success or failure: Does any nation have a constitution comparable to ours? Does merit — or religion, tribe or class — mostly gauge success or failure in America? What nation is as free, stable and transparent as the U.S.?
Try becoming a fully accepted citizen of China or Japan if you were not born Chinese or Japanese. Try running for national office in India from the lower caste. Try writing a critical op-ed in Russia or hiring a brilliant female to run a mosque, university or hospital in most of the Middle East. Ask where MRI scans, Wal-Mart, iPods, the Internet or F-18s came from.
In the last 60 years, we have been warned in succession that new paradigms in racially pure Germany, the Soviet workers’ paradise, Japan Inc. and now 24/7 China all were about to displace the United States. None did. All have had relative moments of amazing success — but in the end none proved as resilient, flexible and adaptable as America.
That brings us to the United States’ greatest strength: radical self-critique. We Americans are worrywarts, always believing we’re on the verge of extinction. And so, to “renew,” “reinvent” or “save” America, we whip ourselves up about “wars” on poverty, drugs and cancer; space “races;” missile “gaps;” literacy “crusades;” and “campaigns” against litter, waste and smoking.
In other words, we nail-biters have always been paranoid that we must change and improve in order to survive. And thus we usually do — just in time.
for the rest of Victor Davis Hanson’s article http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTU5ZjMzYmQzODgzNjE0NGRlNjVkMjRmNGUwODZmODg=