The inaugural Michael Coren show - The Arena - on Sun TV was something of a tour de force featuring author/columnist Mark Steyn, fearless Anne Coulter, laid-back Juan Willams and Muslim moderate Tarek Fatah.
Most provocative was Mark Steyn, who cited an International Monetary Fund prediction that China will be the world's dominant economic power by around 2015. What's more, Steyn seemed to believe this.
Coren, as host, offered no substantial opinion but probed Steyn who, in his unique way, predicted America was evolving from "a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers." By its interest payments alone to China, the U.S. will be "covering the entire cost of the Chinese People's Liberation Army."
This sort of sky-is-falling pessimism is common these days, as the Obama administration in the U.S. runs its debt into the trillions with no end in sight. As well, there's little in the way of encouragement or solutions from the President himself.
For what it's worth, I think Jeremiah apprehensions (or hopes, by some) of America's demise, are nonsense.
What's missing in predictions of gloom, are unknown, unexpected, and unpredictable factors that always occur. No one saw the collapse of communism coming; nor did anyone anticipate the Arab Spring. Or the Tsunami that devastated Japan. Or the Tea Party movement in America.
Those of us with long memories can recall the days when "experts" predicated that the Soviet Union would triumph as the world's most powerful country -- both economically and militarily. Every five-year plan anticipated catching up or passing the U.S.
It never happened, and when the Soviet Union imploded to the amazement of those who predicted its eventual triumph, the system was recognized as a charade -- a Potemkin village of a country where everything was sham and pretense.
China (as Steyn acknowledges) is a country of peasants, no human rights, no property rights, little intellectual freedom, a country of repression and oppression, a system that lies, steals, corrupts and has no principles except what are in its own interests. In a way, this is China's strength -- and its ultimate weakness. It's true that China has invested around the world. But if countries it has invested in (the U.S. and Canada) go bust, how will it recover its investments?
In a worst case scenario, if the U.S. were to devalue its currency -- as Russia did after the demise of the Soviet Union -- what could China do? Suppose the U.S. defaulted and doesn't pay: What would China do? Go to war?
Despite what Mark Steyn says about the U.S. as a nation of debt carriers, it still has more aircraft carriers than any country and can protect itself. The essential strength of America is that it's a free country with free speech and economic opportunity. And it's filled with Americans.Turn Americans loose, and they're capable of anything. Right now, the country is in the doldrums, because they have a president who cannot rally enthusiasm or confidence. There is no Franklin Roosevelt to inspire the citizenry: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. . . ."
Instead they have a president who blames Americans for being Americans and humbles his country on the foreign stage, bowing to tyrants, apologizing for his country.
I guess it's a matter of faith.
I don't think America is ready to roll over. And in four years, or 10 years, America will still be the world's leading democracy and China will be changing in ways that right are right now unpredictable and unexpected.
That's the way the world works. Wait and see. And have confidence.