America, Versus ItselfPlay
Is America now its own worst enemy? Blowing a future that should be good? Harvard’s Joseph Nye and the New Yorker’s John Cassidy join us.
Some days lately – many days, actually – it can seem like the United States, or at least Washington, is paralyzed and the world is passing us by. On issue after issue, America looks gridlocked while the future calls out for action and change. The US ought to be incredibly well-positioned for that future. But given our dysfunction, are we? Two big thinkers with us today on exactly that issue. Harvard’s Joseph Nye and the New Yorker’s John Cassidy – who recently wrote that the biggest threat to America’s future is America. This hour On Point: challenges, gridlock, and the future of the USA.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Joseph Nye, professor and former dean at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Author of the new book, "Is The American Century Over?" Also the author of "Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era," "The Powers To Lead" and "Soft Power." (@joe_nye)
John Cassidy, staff writer at the New Yorker. Author of "How Markets Fail" and "Dot.Con." (@johncassidy)
From Tom’s Reading List
TIME: The American Century Isn’t Over — "America is far from faultless: the invasion of Iraq and intransigence on climate change stand out as two major mistakes. But it’s difficult to imagine that the world would be a better place if Vladimir Putin’s Russia or Xi Jinping’s China were running things. 'I believe this is a different country,' says Nye. Henry Luce couldn’t have said it better."
New Yorker: The Biggest Threat to America’s Future Is … America — "Absent an unforeseen catastrophe, Pax Americana won’t suffer the same sudden end that Pax Britannica did. But over time it will be challenged, which raises a key question: Can the American psyche, and the American political system, adapt to a new reality in which the United States retains its position of leadership but no longer enjoys unquestioned dominance? So far, some of the signs are encouraging, while others are worrying."
The Atlantic: Requiem for American Exceptionalism — "The image of the United States as a nation untouched by revolutionary ferment elsewhere doesn’t survive a study of that period. How unique even were the race riots? The white gangs that burned black businesses and expelled black families from their homes in Tulsa in 1921 bear a family resemblance to the paramilitary groups of demobilized German soldiers—Freikorps as they called themselves—who killed hundreds of Poles and Latvians in battles for control of Baltic and Silesian cities."
Read An Excerpt Of "Is The American Century Over?" By Joseph Nye
This program aired on March 25, 2015.