Fareed Tells It Like It Is

During a trip to Hawaii two and a half years ago with my family my mom dragged us to the Polynesian Cultural Center. After a day of palm frond weaving, drum pounding, and canoe appreciation there’s a buffet dinner served at long communal tables. We struck up a conversation with the couple next to us, as they almost force you to do, and ended up speaking of fairly weighty politics. Weighty because the husband was 100% conviced that the US was at the point of no return past the appex of it’s powers. I was as deeply disgusted by the dumbass child we had soiling the sheets in Whitehouse, but at least I took of vaguely optomistic view of things. He said quite bluntly to me, “I’m sorry you’re young, the only hope I feel is that I may not live to see the country fall completely apart.” I told him I don’t take nearly such a dismal view of our nation, in part because I simply can’t, I have to live with what I am given. He was in no way swayed, even by my less fatalistic arguments. But, mostly his views came as a reaction to his wife’s, which were unwaiveringly optimistic. She emigrated from Germany just after the war and took one of those lucky mailroom to boardroom carear paths. I can’t entirely blame him. There may well be some dark days ahead.

Facing the possibility of those dark days is a recent Newsweek article. There is a good reason Fareed Zakaria [FZ.com] [Wikipedia], editor of Newsweek’s international edition, is a frequent and well loved guest on The Daily Show. Fareed Zakaria speaks the truth, and the latest incarnation of that truth is in ‘How Long Will America Lead the World?’ Of course a magazine article doesn’t solve problems of national policy, but, on the other hand, usually politicians don’t either. The tricky part is getting down to the painful details. Zakaria at least outlines them well. In addition, he offers up a good helping of hope; we have a steady history of success and many of the problems we face have concrete, though painful, solutions. The good ol’ US of A is not teetering at the cliff’s edge, but there is a long steep hill we are cresting and we better start taking some substantial action before we pick up speed.

A search on the Newsweek’s site uncovers further brilliance from Zakaria in the form of his recent columns, ‘Conservative Contradictions’ and ‘Why Kerry Is Right On Iraq’. He also has archives of old columns on his self-titled site.

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