The Rise of the Rest
It’s true China is booming, Russia is growing more assertive, terrorism is a threat. But if America is losing the ability to dictate to this new world, it has not lost the ability to lead.
By Fareed Zakaria
Americans are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the “wrong track.” In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month’s response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistic - a financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. But the facts on the ground -unemployment numbers, foreclosure rates, deaths from terror attacks- are simply not dire enough to explain the present atmosphere of malaise.