America the Superpower
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation about the idea of the United States being a superpower in the world, and the only superpower in the world, and what this means to those of us who did not become politically conscious until the years following the end of the Cold War.
In this discussion, I stated that I was not afraid of a world where America did not hold the position of “World’s Only Superpower.” Maybe I am being naive, but that distinction doesn’t seem important to me. What is far more important to me is having an economically sound, safe nation governed by reasonable laws and protections for all citizens. Whether China is a superpower or not, I want those things for the US. But America as Sole Superpower is still a very important notion to many people. Like Neil Gardiner, who wrote the following today in The Telegraph:
And like the contest in 1980, 2012 will likely decide the future of the United States as the world’s dominant superpower, with Americans faced with a stark choice between renewal and decline. As the latest Pew survey of global attitudes shows, the world is beginning to lose faith in the strength of America’s leadership, with general publics in 15 of 22 nations surveyed believing that “China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower.” Even in the US itself, 46 percent believe that China has already or will replace America as the world’s leading power.
So ‘America the Superpower’ hangs in the balance of the 2012 election. If the GOP wins the election, how will that affect the outcome of America’s stance as superpower? Does small government (which Republican Presidents do not actually want), less spending (on Democratic priorities, but not necessarily in general), fewer taxes, fewer social safety net programs with more privatized services, and less regulation allowing for more pollution, illness, and a greater demand for healthcare make a nation a superpower?