Many influential individuals, including some prominent figures in our national security and diplomatic elites, academics, journalists, and opinion makers began to speak openly and serenely of a relative American decline, as though this is was inevitable as death, taxes, gay marriage, Chicago Cubs futility, and Hillary Clinton. Those who postulated the certainty of American decline have ramped up their arguments since the war on terror began to show some age and the great recession of 2007-09 has turned into the non-recovery of 2010-12. Many of our elites who have been predicting decline for the last quarter-century think that they finally have it right.
This thinking has now seeped into the Presidential campaign with the two candidates throwing political barbs at each other based on variations of this theme. Governor Romney has seized on polls showing the American public is pessimistic about the near future and says he is the man who can restore America to glory. President Obama counters, however, that he is the candidate of true American values and national greatness. GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan argues that four consecutive trillion-dollar deficits signify a nation in decline, while Vice-President Joe Biden, like a good lawyer, attempts to change the subject.