This past week has been difficult to be an American, in many ways. Our next President will be either Donald Trump (who has his share of issues), or Hillary Clinton (whom the FBI Director just declared to be extremely careless with top secret State Department information). This is what we have to deal with and look forward to.
In addition, we just suffered the terrible ambush in Dallas, amidst ongoing racial strife. Where is our society headed?
At times like this I assume that we – the USA – look foolish on the world stage. While I think that is correct and that everyone loves to laugh at the most powerful nation in the world, upon further review I do believe that for the most part the rest of the world is no better off. A quick look at several countries and their leaders leads to this conclusion:
Mexico–President Enrique Peña Nieto: The Mexican government has long been the poster child for corruption, plus many citizens just don’t feel safe in their own homes and towns.
Canada–Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: The young, good-looking counterpart to Obama, Trudeau is a liberal son of a former PM who had even less experience with government than Obama did in 2008. His leadership is still under question.
Germany–Chancellor Angela Merkel: It appears that Merkel may finally be on the way out. Many Germans are very unhappy with the Syrian refugee situation in their country, and Merkel is allowing it for the most part. With the UK exiting the EU, Germany will have to shoulder even more of the EU load; this will likely result in grave consequences.
UK–Prime Minister David Cameron: The PM has resigned, and the leadership there is in turmoil. Everyone knows about Brexit, and the UK pound has taken a pounding since. Uncertain times ahead. What do Britons really want?
Russia–President Vladimir Putin: Russia has a strong military, but generally has a poor economy and not a great quality of life for the majority of its citizens. Putin and his oligarchy seem to rule by fear, as well as nationalist pride. Russia is often on their own, and a loose cannon. Who are their true allies?
Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland–All these EU countries have troubling economies and need wholesale fiscal makeovers, and the citizens are not keen to it.
Turkey–Where do we begin? This large and important Muslim country is a key ally for the USA, but is being overrun with ISIS sympathizers and other violent troublemakers. Their tourism industry has taken a large plummet.
Without going through each nation of the world, it is clear that overall most countries are in “fair” to “bad” shape currently. There are few outright success stories, with true and strong “leaders.” So while we in America have troubles and maybe a difficult journey ahead, we are no different than most other countries. The problem is, the USA has always been seen – by Americans and also by many foreigners – as “better” than the rest. We are not supposed to be living in the muck that the rest of the world constantly is dealing with, but here we are. Is this Obama’s new world order? To strike the USA down several notches to make the world even and more “fair”?
We cannot worry about the rest of the world, but we can elect strong leaders that have morals and courage. When was the last US President that was clearly a strong leader? A statesman? Some might claim Ronald Reagan, and if so, that ended 27 years ago. But others might harken back to the days of President and General Dwight Eisenhower, who left office 55 years ago! A nation cannot succeed when it has a strong and convincing leader every 5 decades.
And unfortunately, it appears that it will be at least another 4 years before we the people put someone forth that has a chance to carry the mantle of an Ike, or a Reagan even. Let’s hope we can navigate the muddy waters until then, and possibly once more be the one nation that others truly admire.