30 March 2008

Stupid Question of the Day

"In the next few years, under a new president, will America regain its lost status as the world's only superpower or will its current decline continue?"

Leave it to the Globe and Mail, eh? I'd really like to know what criteria they used to determine how America is not the world's only superpower. Are there others? Has American power declined to such a significant extent that it isn't super anymore? Because any rational examination of the global situation, even with the troubles in Iraq factored into the equation, cannot realistically claim that the answer to either question is yes. No other country comes close to being able to put forward the amount of power and legitimacy that is required to maintain the international system as it stands today. That same system remains strong and intact because of American power.
Further, the question implies that the next president, be it Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain, is going to go out and ramp up American power again. Will America seek to re-establish its "strategic preeminence" in the world, or will there be that "humble foreign policy" that candidate Bush spoke of prior to being elected president? Just a few years ago folks like the Globe et al. were bemoaning the supposed "American empire." Are they getting nostalgic? There's just so much wrong with that poll question that it's not even funny.

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