A very useful reminder of the long view, in these days of precipitous decline after the disastrous, bankrupting, morale-breaking over-reach of the Bush-Cheney years:
Even if America is exhausted, worn out and a shadow of her former self, from having spent her way from world dominance into a chasm of debt, the U.S. does have something to show for it the last six decades.
A world saved. A majority of human beings lifted out of poverty. That task, far more prodigious than defeating fascism and communism or going to the moon, ought to be viewed with a little respect. And I suspect it will be, by future generations.
This should be contemplated, soberly, as other nations start to consider their time ahead as one of potential triumph. As they start to contemplate the possibility of becoming the next great pax or "central kingdom."
If that happens ... will they emulate Marshall and Truman, by starting their bright era of world leadership with acts of thoughtful and truly farsighted wisdom? Perhaps even a little gratitude?
Or at least by evading the mistakes that are written plain, across the pages of history, wherever countries briefly puffed and preened over their own importance, imagining that this must last forever?
Probably not. This unconventional assertion will meet vigorous resistance, no matter how clearly it is supported by the historical record. The reflex of America-bashing is too heavily ingrained, within the left and across much of the world, for anyone to actually read the ancient annals and realize that the United States is undoubtedly the least hated empire of all time. If its "pax" is drawing to a close, it will enter retirement with more earned goodwill than any other. Perhaps even enough to win forgiveness for the inevitable litany of imperial crimes.