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Feature Story April 17, 2003
 
The Bums Will Always Lose
By John Dolan Browse author Email
 
Page 5 of 5
 
Over the past few years, there have been repeated comic attempts at setting up "counterweight" blocs to combat American power: Russia, India and China; France, Germany and Russia; the EU and whoever they've got visiting Strasbourg that week. But in the end, they all crack. They crack because the sum of these blocs doesn't equal even a part of America's power, specifically, the America of the Republican Right.

Face it: the US could end up coasting on its own momentum for the next century, with the Republicans doing all they can to loot and plunder the ship, simply because there's no plausible candidate or bloc of candidates to take its place.

HOPE?

There is one hope, but you won't like it. It's the one thing all you squeamish liberals would never even dare to dream about. Suppose Al-Qaeda isn't defunct. Suppose all that scare-talk about how easy it is to get an ex-Soviet nuke has some basis. (It ought to, since it's been the premise of about a hundred lousy suspense films over the past fifteen years.) And suppose Al-Qaeda managed to set off such a weapon in Manhattan. That would have a real effect on America's hegemony. It would have to be a nuke, and it would have to be Manhattan -- no other US city is both compact and vital enough. (To nuke LA, you'd need to steal half the Soviet arsenal.)

Unless that actually happens (and it's not very likely), it's hard to see how this miserable tyranny of the mean and stupid can ever be overthrown. If you really, really need to imagine them falling, think of that asteroid that finished off the dinosaurs. The raptors had an uncanny resemblance to the sort of people who dominate the American kleptocracy. They were swaggering around, tiny brains and huge claws, until the sun went out. That finished them, because suddenly stupidity wasn't adaptive any more.

So all you have to do is dart from shadow to shadow, like a proto-mammal dodging the raptors, for a few hundred thousand years or so. After that, everything should be fine.

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