Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THE END OF THE FRONTIER?


I was perusing sites and I landed upon my friend Z's site. She had a great post about the US ceding its preeminence on internet technology to other countries. There seems to be a pattern here. The NASA manned missions to return to the moon are out, meanwhile India plans a trip of its own. In these economic times that may seem to be prudent, but what disturbs me is that it is a troubling step down the path from American Exceptionalism, to American mediocrity.

In 1890, the census declared the end to the American frontier. This represented the end of the American mindset of manifest destiny, that drove American exploration and led to the settling of the continent from sea to shining sea. In the process the US was on the road to becoming the dominant economic and military power in the world, some would say driven by transplantation of the frontier spirit to technological achievement. This fueled an Industrial Revolution that brought about unparalled inventions.

The list of American inventions is incredible and would take some time to enumerate. Imagine the world without American entrepreneurship and inventiveness, spawned by the freedom to achieve whatever was possible. I think that spirit is being bred out of us by multiculturalism, moral reletivism, and worse, a feeling that Americans should be ashamed of their success.

Following the First World War, Woodrow Wilson committed America to the League of Nations. This ill-fated organization was predicated on the illusion that war could be averted if only the nations of the world would sit down together to talk out and resolve their differences. I'm a little more cynical of Wilson, however, suffice it to say his trust was seriously misplaced, especially as it regards Europe with its long history of incessant warfare. To the point, the League of Nations included Article 10 which bound the signatories to accept the frightening notion that an attack on one League member was an attack on all. Hence, the US would make itself a party and worse, a participant in a war that could result from some perceived slight in some far off land.

Rightfully, many Senators were appalled at the prospect of another world war and America's involvement in it. Especially so soon after WWI. At times of crisis many great men rise to the challenge and this crisis was no exception. Henry Cabot Lodge, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee was adamantly opposed to the involvment of the US in the League basing his objection in no small part to a loss of national sovereignty. He argued that US involvement would represent a forfeiture of the right of the US to plot its own path in foreign policy. To the great relief of many Americans, many understandably isolationist following the horrifying losses in the war, his view prevailed and the Senate refused to approve the treaty.

My worry is that Obama seems to be trodding again on a Wilsonian, one-world, supranationalist path. It seems to me that our national sovereignty is being subjugated to this misguided, discredited policy. The president has signaled a willingness to bargain away our national sovereignty with the publication of his new budget. The president has committed to budgetary policies that signal that he isn't interested in keeping our competitive edge in technology.

His misguided commitment to green jobs, none of which yet exist, is a false idol. He should commit to energy independence and do more than talk about nuclear power and push legislation to allow more off shore drilling. The technology exists to drill with a very small footprint. He should take these steps to ween us off foreign oil, make us energy independent and then and only then do research for alternative fuels. In other words, remove the roadblocks and commit the government to allow entrepreneurs to go about doing what they do best. Achieve. Many jobs will result.

Make us secure, then allow the American spirit of inventiveness to solve the problem of alternative fuels. We went to the moon. Remember?

Wilson's misguided League was flushed once. Let's just leave that policy in the toilet of history where it belongs. National sovereignty. Maybe some isolationism is in order again until we solve our own problems.

12 comments:

Brooke said...

If you start really looking into history, one will find that Wilson was an evil SOB that set this nation down a horrible path!

TRUTH 101 said...

What Americans are "ashamed" of their success LAOT?


And Wilson worked for a world he hoped could be free from warfare. How is that a bad thing? He chose to confront the problems instead of retreating into an isolationist shell.

Hill said...

Nice to meet you, L&O Teacher.

:)

Carl Wicklander said...

I have no affection for Wilson. To me, he was just the forerunner to Bush. Wilson wanted to make the world safe for democracy and Bush said the world couldn't be safe unless everyone was "democratic." It was utopian and a recipe for disaster for everyone. The sooner we move past Wilson and his ideas the better.

TOM said...

Being isolationists did not help us during WW II. They came and attacked us anyways. We were not prepared and had to use all we had to ramp up the war effort.
I don't like if questions, but what if we had got involved in WW II earlier, say as soon as Hitler attacked Poland, or England. How many lives could have been saved? Could we have stopped the "final" solution Hitler had started against the Jews and other minorities?
I say yes, and I say that makes all the difference.
America being isolationists before we entered WW II, costs many lives.
We don't have to preemptively attack, but we should not sit back as tyrants attack others.
Is it not a deterrent to some, that if they attack a weak country, they will face the American military?

Law and Order Teacher said...

Brooke,
I agree that Wilson was a real problem for the country. He is underrated as the threat he was to the country and the long-term damage he did. Thanks for the visit.

Truth,
The rhetoric of Obama in his constant drumbeat for class warfare is the root of the problem. He has successful Americans running for cover and looking for ways to stash their money. Americans who achieve should be held up as an example for all to emulate. His apology tour is also gnawing at Americans with his ill-advised propensity to downplay American execeptionalism.

Wilson offered to give up national sovereignty in exchange for a place at the world table. If Article 10 had been in place the US would have been dragged into the Cold War struggles of Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, just to name a few. Instead, the Senate refused buy into this dangerous proposition and are history speaks for itself.

Additionally, he was a racist. He screened the movie "The Birth of a Nation" in the White House which was a valentine to the KKK. It was based on a book called "The Klansmen." He sung the praises of the movie and his elitism is well-documented. He is lionized by those utopians in academia for his ridiculous attempt at setting up the League of Nations.

Hill,
Thanks for the visit. Nice to meet you.

Carl,
My feelings for Wilson most assuredly would not include anything warm. On top of his utopian unrealism, he was a racist and a power seeking elitist. Bush was a disappointment in many ways. Thanks for the visit.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Tom,
My statement about isolationism was posed as a question. Your point is well taken and I agree to an extent. The thrust of the post is that we are sacrificing our soveriegnty for the expediency of borrowing to support out of control spending.

Economically, it would be good policy to engage in solidifying our country against ill economic winds before worrying about the rest of the world.

Thanks for the visit and your good comment.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

He's all about being an inclusionist with the exception of the party that happens to be across the aisle. He has little fear of ceding American power to other so-called authorities.

And that is simply WRONG.

America is the last, best hope of the entire planet. He or other persons or entities remove American power to their own detriment.

BZ

dmarks said...

The blood of hundreds of thousands in Kosovo (forcibly annexed to Serbia against its will in the creation of Yugosalvia), Bosnia, and Croatia who died in the 1990s are on Wilson's long dead hands.

His involvment in forcing together Yugoslavia was the creation of a time bomb that would blow up horribly later.

Law and Order Teacher said...

BZ,
Thanks for the visit. "Inclusionist." Can I use that. Well done.

DMarks,
Your history here is right on. The redrawing of the map at the end of WWI gave rise to no end of later problems in the Balkans and other places. Wilson was supranationalist of the first order. Thanks to Lodge the US avoided the League and many problems in Europe. Thanks for the visit.

Ducky's here said...

Well, I think we should take a look at were this so call, exceptionalism, has come from.

We need to go back to FDR and his delay of our entry into WW II until he could be assured we'd come out of it as the last economy standing. We boomed up and then managed to squander the advantage in only about 30 years (Say Hi to Saint Ronnie Raygun, major architect of the decline).

That illusory economic superiority and the propaganda of the Cold War are pretty much the source of this idea. Tie to ditch it.

We sold that birthright for a pile of debt, some cheap imports and a few useless wars.

Ducky's here said...

The redrawing of the map at the end of WWI gave rise to no end of later problems in the Balkans and other places.

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The Balkans goes back a lot further than World War II. There wasn't any way that situation was going to be resolved one way or another.