I have complained here rather vociferously that many entertainers are ill-informed, naive, and/or just good old-fashioned stupid regarding politics and policy. They are, of course entitled to their opinions, but the danger lies in the fact that entertainers hold much sway over fans, and are at minimum going to have their opinions heard whether they are ill-considered or not.
Allow me to state now that "experts," with the benefit of vast erudition, research, and time to ruminate and ponder at length, are often just as wrong as dopey rock stars. Some will say all this really means is that I disagree with them - of course that's what it means, but they're still wrong.
Anyway, Salon's Suzy Hansen does a lengthy interview with Charles A. Kupchan, author of The End of the American Era, and a professor of international relations at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Pretty snazzy credentials, no? He's still an idiot:
- In "The End of the American Era," Kupchan compares the current world situation to past turning points in history — the end of World War I, the federation of the American colonies, the Great Depression — to suggest ways in which the world might transform itself. In some of his most illuminating passages, Kupchan disputes the predictions of such optimistic leading thinkers as Francis Fukuyama and Thomas Friedman, who perceive democracy and globalization as great panaceas, and pessimists such as Samuel Huntington who foresees a "clash of civilizations." Instead, Kupchan's global map resembles that of the 19th century, when the reigning empire, Great Britain, gave the rising United States entree as a world power. This time, Kupchan says, it's America's turn to make room for Europe.
Make room for Europe?? Is he insane? On what level, other than sheer population, does Europe rival the U.S.? The unity of the EU is surface level only, and is enforced by top-down dictates and regulations that inhibit innovation and flexibility. Decades of appeasement and "sophisticated" equivocation have squandered Europe's moral capital. Their military capabilities are a joke compared the US - so what exactly is Europe going to ascend to?
- But one of the real dangers that we face at the moment is that Empire Lite might become Empire Heavy and rather than reassure others, we'll alienate them. Rather than appear as a benign hegemon, we appear predatory. We appear to lose our legitimacy as a great power, which is probably our most precious commodity. If that happens, then all bets are off. Then you really see countries run for cover and join arms against the United States.
Again, are you insane? The exact opposite is true: since there is no leadership coming from Europe in doing what needs to be done, where America leads Europe will follow. What just happened with the Security Council vote on Iraq?