Journal Article - Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

Where in the World Are We?

| Spring 2016


This article is part of the Symposium on The Election and the World

To judge from the Republican primary campaign as it played out over late 2015 and early 2016, the United States is a pitiful giant in decline, outmaneuvered by Russia and China and besieged by barbarians. Terrorists have captured our politics. A late-2015 poll showed that one in six Americans identified terrorism as the most important problem the country faced, the highest percentage in a decade. The effect was particularly strong on the Republican presidential primary, with calls for the exclusion of Muslims and carpet-bombing Syria, and descriptions of our situation as World War III.

We should not allow ourselves to become too convulsed by terrorism; more on that anon. The next President will have far more than that to deal with, from China to Russia to bolstering global institutions. But let's begin with some historical context—always useful, but especially so in a campaign season when both candidates and the public tend to lose a sense of perspective....

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For Academic Citation: Nye, Joseph S. Jr.. Where in the World Are We?.” Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, no. 40. (Spring 2016) .