With America in trouble, I've been pleased to see some fresh, innovative thinking emanating from Washington. What can brighten the country's future?
- Anne Applebaum proposes that
Institutions should do what they are good at. And the expansion of NATO is one of the few true post-Cold-War foreign-policy success stories...
We could continue that process. The stakes are lower — 2010 is not 1990, and the countries outside NATO are poorer and more turbulent than even those that have recently joined. Nevertheless, the very existence of a credible Western military alliance remains — yes, really — an encouragement to others on Europe's borders. This is a uniquely propitious moment. Right now there is a pro-Western government in Moldova; Ukraine's geopolitics are up in the air; elections are due to take place in Belarus in December. We in the West might have gone sour on ourselves, but Europeans on our borders still find us magnetically attractive. But we will only remain so if we try.
- David "National Greatness Conservatism" Brooks thinks he's found the solution: a "national greatness agenda" and a new political movement—maybe a third party!—whose "goal will be unapologetic: preserving American pre-eminence." This movement could seek to "end the mortgage deduction and tax employer health care plans and raise capital gains taxes and cut benefits for affluent seniors."
- Meanwhile, the Republican Party seems to think what the country needs is a good jolt of religion-infused nationalism.
With this sort of fresh, innovative thinking, maybe we can't miss!