1980 - Reagan wins election and the Republicans' take of the U.S. Senate -- greatly helped, of course, by stagnation, the surrender of the Panama Canal, record interest rates, the hollowing-out of the American military, the Misery Index, gas lines and 60,000 Cuban troops in southern Africa and the Horn of Africa (not to mention a Communist takeover in Nicaragua and a Communist insurgency in El Salvador)-- was a rare and striking rejection of an American President named Jimmy Carter.Its official the government of the United States of Obama consists of boobs and bores and is led by a narcissist. It is no consolation that Great Britain joins us in racing to the bottom.
President Obamas flirting with Denmarks prime minister would be shameful on any occasion. That it happened at the memorial for Nelson Mandela only adds to the embarrassment.
But the selfie episode also symbolizes the greater global calamity of Western decline. With British prime minister David Cameron playing the role of Obamas giggling wingman, the look at me moment confirms we have unserious leaders in a dangerously serious time.
Iran marches toward nuclear weapons and already there is talk in military circles that a nuclear-armed Iran could mean mushroom clouds in the Mideast within five years.
China is flexing its muscles throughout Asia, its ships brazenly confronting ours on the high seas. Russia is expanding its writ in the Arab lands and in Eastern Europe while making casual threats about bombing America. Syrias Assad uses chemical weapons and Obama and Cameron rattle little sabers before meekly agreeing to become his partner.
The sign-language interpreter wasnt the only fake at the Mandela funeral. Obama and Cameron were posing as world leaders.
2013 - The Great Recession lingers. Obamacare is loosed on the land. Congress struggles with gridlock and bitter division.
The print, on-line and on-air media have divided along political lines. So, too, have the states, into Red and Blue, as the American people continue to sort themselves geographically.
Not least, foreign challenges are gathering yet again - in the East and South China Seas, in Central Asia and across the Middle East and Near East. Ten days ago, an American guided missile frigate and Chinese navy flotilla led by China's new aircraft carrier came within 200 yards of a high seas collision -- and an international incident.
Whether it's in Syria, Ukraine, Benghazi or the Senkaku Islands, men who are no friends to America are proving the truth of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's maxim that "weakness is provocative."