By Chris Clancy
November 2012 has drawn to a close. One last thought before we brace ourselves for what's to come. A few days after the election, Peter Hitchens wrote an article entitled, "The night we waved goodbye to America... our last best hope on Earth."
It sounds a bit over the top – but it's not.
His article is well worth reading because the points he makes are well put. But one in particular is worth bearing in mind:
"If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything. He plainly doesn't believe it himself. His cliche-stuffed, PC clunker of an acceptance speech suffered badly from nerves. It was what you would expect from someone who knew he'd promised too much and that from now on the easy bit was over."
Indeed, the "easy bit" is now over. There were times during the campaign when I got the distinct impression he didn't want a second term. That he knew the game was up – that his presidency had been exposed to him and his people for what it was – an economic and social failure.
But to the great surprise and dismay of many, including him I suspect, he was re-elected. And now there's no way out. No chance to cut and run. He and his crew are going to have to face the music.
Now they must deliver. No more blame games.
It would be some consolation, however scant, to say that things will simply remain the same for the next four years. But no such luck. They can only get worse.
Will this mean a return to economic sanity after election 2016 – assuming, that is, that the country gets there in one piece? Well … no … why should it?
Minority voting blocks will decide the issue.
The African-American vote is not going to go through some kind of dramatic sea change, whilst the commonly held perception about the Asian-American vote no longer holds.
As for Hispanics, America's fastest growing minority, Pat Buchanan is less than hopeful:
Answer: no reason actually.
And given her situation – who could blame her – it wasn't she who made it possible in the first place.
Benjamin Franklin warned, right from the beginning, that if the people ever got into a position where they could vote themselves money, it would herald the end of the republic.
Prophetic words – because that's where the country is now.
It heralds the end of the republic because it is unsustainable. Something has to give. That thing will be the USD. But try explaining that to the average voter. History repeats itself. The empire destroys itself from within. There was a slim chance America could have been the first to give the lie to this prediction.
But that chance has now gone.
The country has been teethering on the edge of the downslope for years – Obama and Co. in their second term will provide the final push.
"How sad," writes Hitchins in his conclusion.
How sad indeed.
"Where now is our last best hope on earth?"
Chris Clancy lived in China for seven years. Most of this time was spent as associate professor of financial accounting at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. He now lives in Thailand where he spends his time reading, writing, lecturing and, whenever he gets the chance, doing his level best to spread Austrian economics.