No less an authority than Lech Walesa (you remember him, the former electrician who stood up to the Soviet puppet government in Poland, which ultimately, with a little help from Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and the Pope, led to the fall of the Soviet empire) recently made an insightful observation: “The world has no leadership. The U. S. was the last resort and hope for all nations. Today, we have lost that hope; they don’t lead morally and politically anymore”.
Why is this the case? Well, in my estimation, for a couple of reasons. First, large segments of our institutional opinion leadership are dismissive of the notion of American moral leadership in the first place, particularly as it pertains to American interests or the pursuit of American exceptionalism. Second and more currently, we have so undermined our financial solvency and economic viability with our reckless profligacy that we have become beholden to our creditors and are less capable of delivering the leadership the world needs from us.
These threats were essentially echoed by James Piereson in The New Criterion: “I wonder whether the ideology underpinning the welfare state is antithetical to the kind of ideas and citizens that are required for a strong national defense. The welfare state is based upon dependency and entitlement, while national defense needs to be based on something like duty as the price of citizenship”.
Western Europe has had an answer to this problem for about 60 years–let America handle it. Lech Walesa and I are wondering–how much longer can America handle it?