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2016 was the Best of Times, and the Worst of Times

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techielobang.com

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

For revelers in India, the United States, and elsewhere in the world, I don’t want to make this retrospective look at 2016 too long.  I figured a few key thoughts in bullet points would suffice.  And then, carry on with your champagne!  Party like it’s the last time you’ll party, ever!

  • The United States is not only in decline, but in accelerating decline.  The real danger to Americans is not any external threat, but how much Americans hate one another.  This hatred is being openly exploited.  The new enemy is the enemy within.  Facts are rarely agreed upon any more.  This has made it exceedingly easy for external threats to damage the United States with minimal effort.  Then they sit back and laugh without firing a single shot.
  • 2016 was the best year ever in US-India government to government relations.  This relationship will only improve in 2017 regardless of the changes to be made under a new US administration.
  • We are heading closer toward the new world order of three fighters left in the ring: the United States, China, and India.  Europe has folded and is no longer in the game.  The United States is now the aging boxer who has gotten hit in the head one too many times (Rocky) who will hopefully train the young dark-skinned prodigy India (Creed) for the coming bouts of the future with another, stronger up-and-coming boxer named China.  Leadership of the mid-21st century world is now at stake.
  • India’s biggest 2016 paradigm-shifting event, demonetization happened on the same day as the 2016 US election, November 8.  DeMo is unquestionably an unmitigated and cruel short-term disaster, though this aggressive and authoritarian move may prove to have some benefits in the long-term, especially on the forced transition toward a cashless economy, and a steady increase in tax receipts.  Time should tell.
  • Despite the angry nationalistic tendencies sweeping across practically every white-majority country in the world with a vengeance, power is fast devolving from the nation-state to the city-state.  This massive devolution of power from national capitals towards cities such as Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Rio, San Francisco, and New York means that there is still hope for peace, inclusion, and climate change reversal on this earth despite bumbling national governments.

And with that usindiamonitor will leave you to your devices, on that relatively high note.  Happy new year, dear reader.  I would be pleased to see you back here in 2017.

 

 

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Goodbye, America. It was Good to Know You.

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Arthur Morris / Birds as Art

2016 will always and forever represent a goodbye to the United States of America that we know and love.  Not necessarily a literal goodbye in the sense that we will leave the country to go live overseas like the Pilgrims doing a Brexit.  No, this goodbye is much more bitter than that. There is no escape, and no ability to flee the pain by hiding in any dark corner of this earth.

America is more than a country.  It is an idea.  Now, that idea has become unrecognizable.  2016 is my death of innocence.  It is the adult equivalent of eagerly waking up on Christmas, only to find out that there is no Santa Claus, and those toys weren’t made by elves, but by little child slaves at a factory in Asia.

Now that’s a rude awakening.  Today I bid farewell to the optimism that powered my belief in the United States of America for nearly four decades despite its faults.  No matter what happens, I will never fully get that optimism back again.  It’s gone.  And perhaps this is the silver lining in all of this: I should have been more cynical all along, for my own good.

I’m an American by choice. I raised my arm and took the oath of citizenship inside a judge’s chambers in the Midwest, at age 9.  It’s also the day that I proudly swore aloud, “I will fight for my country if called upon to do so.” Indeed, today I would still fight to protect my country if it was needed.

But the most important fight to be joined now is not really against any external threat, such as garden-variety terror cells or tin-pot dictators.  It does not require weapons or violence in the literal sense.  The real war is now against something far more dangerous, nebulous, and nefarious: the enemy within, this undeniable and accelerating decline of the United States of America right before our eyes.

I will probably mope around until (how appropriately cliche) Thanksgiving about this.  Then, I will stand and fight the decay however I can, as I know many patriots will.  But for the first time in my life, I’m not sure if the good guys will win.  This feeling is the most devastating of all.  From whence came the motivation to fight for Rome during its fall?

 

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