While it wasn't clear at the time, the election of Barak Hussien Obama as President of the United States of America signals the end of the United States as The Exceptional Power. Mark Steyn asks who will lead in the Post American Era?
American Exceptionalism has saved the world from cataclysm on more than one occasion. Beginning in WWI, then WWII followed by The Marshall Plan and Korea, The Cold War and now the War on Terror. Who comes to the aid of friend and foe alike when disaster strikes? What country feeds the world? What country is the bastion of freedom and opportunity, to which multitudes risk life and limb to come? What country will replace all that? China? India? They can barely feed their own. China's population may well crash because of their one-child policy. Iran? Hardly. Russia? Only to restore the old Soviet Empire. Then the EU, right? The EU is an apathetic, selfish collection of countries whose best days, if they ever had them are now far behind.
And where is the US leadership? Apologizing for some supposed sins. Forcing more and more government on the people, suffocating the independence and creativity that made this the strongest economic engine the world has ever seen. Becoming one of 190.
The world is unlikely to see another United States of America. The benign leadership of this country is unprecedented in history. After WWII, as the last country with any capacity remaining, the United States could have easily overwhelmed the rest of the world. Instead, we rebuilt it. The world will be worse off for the change.