October 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is America in denial about its decline?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"America must manage its decline."

That's the title of a sobering piece in the Financial Times.

The article explores what the U.S. must do to come to terms with its changing role in the world. If the U.S. and its leaders could actually acknowledge that our global power is in decline today, it would be easier to figure out what comes next.

But politics being what it is, big surprise that no one is being honest here. Instead, it's practically unacceptable to suggest that there may be no "coming back" for the United States of America. And that is the cold, hard truth: There may very well be no coming back.

For now, the U.S. is still the world's largest economy and the top military and diplomatic power. But - a time when China will become the largest economy doesn't seem all that far away.

This article suggests that's why now is the time for America to have a "rational debate about what 'relative decline' means." Decline may not necessarily mean the end of prosperity, but it likely means making choices and alliances.

Turns out, those who refuse to even talk about decline may actually speed up the whole process. By not addressing our changing position in the world, we won't be dealing with other issues that need attention now: Things like deficits and educational reform.

Lastly, the Financial Times article says managing decline has as much to do with psychology as with politics or economics.

Listen, because this is interesting:

Britain had an easier go of it at the end of World War II because it was essentially handing over superpower status to the U.S., a country with a shared heritage. But this could be a much more difficult task for the U.S. if we have to eventually hand over power to China.

Here’s my question to you: Is America in denial about its decline?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: United States
What's at stake for Rick Perry in tonight's debate?
October 18th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

What's at stake for Rick Perry in tonight's debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

One of the best lines of the campaign so far is: Rick Perry "went from frontrunner to roadkill in a matter of weeks."

Credit the Daily Beast and a fine article titled "What's wrong with Rick."

The article examines the Texas governor's spectacular rise - and fall - in the Republican race for president... and how he still might pull off a comeback.

Headed into tonight's debate, Perry is a distant third in the race.

Our new poll shows Perry at 13% - that's down from 30% and the front-runner position just last month. Both Mitt Romney and Herman Cain now have a double-digit lead over Perry.

So what happened? Well, for starters, the debates happened.

Although Perry is a gifted politician who can work a room or get a crowd excited, he just hasn't been able to hack it during the debates against his more able competitors. Perry also comes under fire for his positions on Social Security and illegal immigration.

Plus, as Perry has stumbled through debate performances, his message of job creation in Texas has been lost. In fact, Perry was practically ignored in last week's debate as most of the focus went to Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.

But even if Rick Perry seems like a real long shot right now - this is still presidential politics, it's still early, and a lot can happen.

For one thing, Perry has raised a boatload of money: $17 million in just the first 7 weeks of his campaign. And in the game that is presidential politics - money talks.

Then there's this: two-thirds of Republicans say they still may change their minds when it comes to which candidate they'll back.

The Daily Beast column suggests what perry most needs is to return to the street campaigning that he does best. But he also can't keep showing up at these debates and getting his head handed to him. He gets another shot tonight.

Here’s my question to you: What’s at stake for Rick Perry in tonight’s debate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: 2012 Election • Gov. Rick Perry