The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, February 8, 2008
Five Things History Can’t Stop
- Gay marriage. Does anyone – even Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee – believe that gay marriage will not be accepted throughout the U.S.? Young people display a startling lack of antigay bias. One day, people will regard Huckabee and Romney as bigots like Strom Thurmond and George Wallace.
- Melting ice caps. This would be a news headline: “Scientists discover polar ice caps not really melting – diminished ice merely a visual illusion.” When the water is lapping at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, maybe then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will concede there is something to global warming.
- The end of American hegemony. The United States will not be in charge of the world in the twenty-first century – it will be struggling to keep up with the economic leaders, including in addition to China and India the European Union, and as-yet unnamed parties. The United States must develop foreign and economic policies that reflect its diminished role as one among powerful equals.
- The Clintons are over. Hillary is fighting a rearguard action that she and Bill cannot see is doomed – if not in the current election, then some time soon into her administration. Even Republican businesspeople sense that Obama stands for a new face to the future, one America desperately needs. Don’t gloat, Republicans. John McCain is more out of touch with the modern world than even the Clintons are.
- America’s drug culture. One Super Bowl ad featured a theme now emphasized by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Drug Czar – kids are turning increasingly to prescription medications for “kicks.” The U.S. has long been embarked on the task of squaring the circle – telling kids not to take drugs while feeding them more and more pharmaceuticals.
Dear Dr. Peele,
I am a fan of yours and I really like your work. I want to however just take issue with one thing on your website. You wrote about the "end of American hegemony". Not that I really think we Americans need hegemony to be happy (Denmark and Switzerland and Ireland seem to be doing ok without being a superpower), but at the same time, I personally - as an American who lived for 8 years in Europe, think that the U.S. will continue to outpace other countries for the following reasons:
- Our universities. The Harvard emdowment is larger than the collective funds for the entire university system in France. And unlike Germany or France, we have 3,500 universities and colleges, not 80.
- Immigrants: we are much better at integrating immigrant communities than other nations. (we don't have the "Muslim ghettos" that Britain and France and Holland have. Where would you rather be a Korean or Chinese immigrant: the U.S., or Japan ? Would you rather be Muslim in the U.S., or in China ?).
- Emigration: while we gain people, the most entreprenuerial Brits, Germans, and Frenchmen and women are leaving their countries, seeking lower taxes and less bureaucracy. Western Europe is experiencing a "brain drain".
- Military: the U.S. remains the only nation that can "project power" all over the world, and with 12 nuclear aircraft carriers, will remain without a competitor for at least 25 years into the future and will dominate the seas and be able to get troops anywhere, without any real competition.
- The U.S. still leads the world in Noble Prizes, patents, and basically, well, everything (almost).
We have even caught up to the Japanese and Germans in electronics and automobiles. Apple is one example of this "hegemony", and Corvette continues to beat the Germans in European racing venues. Even our wines have caught up with the Europeans.