America Stands Alone
Very early in forming the American realist perspective the shrill exceptionalism of our oft-repeated superiority—we’re No. 1!—is of course wryly interpreted to be many things, being listed first is often not the most flattering light to cast upon a nation. Something very, very different has happened to America in the last 15 years when ranking the United States’ primary behavior compared to other industrial democracies, however, the phenomena isn’t that we’re the best or doing the most of something, we’re the only ones doing it.
In the acceptance and execution of pre-emptive war, America stands alone.
In the implementation of the death penalty, America stands alone.
By allowing unions to be crushed and the subsequent rampant inequality to knife tens of millions of citizens, America stands alone.
In the use of torture on prisoners of war, America stands alone.
By denying universal health coverage and plunging its health care system into chaos and crisis, America stands alone.
By constructing a super-special public prison where the constitution is obliterated, America stands alone.
None of this is opinion, it’s easily confirmed fact, the United States profoundly changed in just the last 20 years. We are not what we were, and nobody else wants to go with us on our new 21st century path, we lead no one, that too is a new phenomena for America.
The country feels it and knows it, the wrong track polling numbers scream for change, high gas prices and lousy wages aren’t the only impetus for the distress. There is a great base of uneasiness in the country, a fear for the future that, again, is new for Americans.
It was said that 2004 was an absolute must-win for the Democratic Party, the disaster of 8 years of Bush would be a tactical blow requiring decades to repair. Well, here we are at the end of year 7, great hope and energy but still crippling problems in the Party, the country reeling in a failed lying war. In many ways the country is simply gone, a lying shell (the rule of law, for starters) of what was before, but the core is still here, a democracy striving for equality, justice and peace is possible again.
If a Democrat wins the Presidency in 2008. It isn’t an alarmist boast this time, no clarion call of tactics that the Party must win, if the United States gets four more years of deliberate Republican crushing of the constitution none of us will ever see America as we used to know it, there will be no way to get the country back in any our lifetimes.
What we might become is a horror none of us would ever want to live through or even be able to imagine on the eve of 2007. So many will scoff at the alarmist delusions of this warning; those who do should honestly ask themselves if anyone thought it was remotely possible America would engage pre-emptive war, would torture, abandon New Orleans, or construct a “special” prison in just the last eight years alone. We could become anything in the next four years with another Republican president. Anything.
We must win in 2008, everything screams at us from the horrors of the last four years that there is no alternative to winning in 2008, the country won’t survive endless war, crushing debt and a meaningless constitution, there won’t be the shell that exists now, just smashed pieces that can never be put back together again.
As we waddle through the endless twaddle of primary season the utmost urgency of winning 2008 as it finally flips on in the calendar must be foremost in all our minds: this may be the most important election in the country’s history. It will require the very best of our unified messaging, treasure and labor to make sure we win, for although America stands alone now, she won’t stand at all if a Democrat loses the presidency next year.