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Donald Trump and the power of negative thinking - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

The United States, top dog for as long a s anyone can remember, is no exception. Every little while, Americans are seized by anxiety that they are being surpassed by people who are tougher (the Russians), cleverer (the Japanese) or harder-working (the Chinese).

Political thinkers call it declinism – the belief that your society is heading into decline – and the United States is suffering from a feverish bout of it right now. Declinism is helping to fuel the rise of Donald Trump, who whips up his cheering supporters with claims that other countries are eating America’s lunch.....Since the U.S. became the world’s pre-eminent power at the end of the WWII, it has been hit by periodic waves of insecurity. It happened when the Soviets beat them to the punch by putting the first satellite into space in 1957. It happened during the Vietnam War.

And it happened during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when president Jimmy Carter warned that Americans were having a “crisis of the spirit.”....Although the rise of China presents another challenge, the U.S. still leads the world in military, economic and technological power. Its top universities crowd best-in-the-world lists. It cleans up at Nobel Prize time. American companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are tops in the tech field. It spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined......Mr. Trump promises to put the country back on top. “We will have so much winning, if I get elected, that you may get bored of winning,” he said last September.

It’s a false hope. No country wins all the time. Even at the height of its power from 1945 to 1970, Joseph Nye reminds us, Washington failed to stop Moscow from getting nuclear weapons, Castro from taking control in Cuba and the Soviets from crushing rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Donald_Trump  demagoguery  America_in_Decline?  negativity_bias  Campaign_2016  Marcus_Gee  insecurity  superpowers  Joseph_Nye 
august 2016 by jerryking
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