Author: Trevor Whitney

America Needs More Extremists: Confronting the Myth of Political Polarization

The argument that America is in the stranglehold of widening, bitter political battles has become so prevalent that it is widely accepted as true. The problem, however, is that it’s not. Senate Democrats complained that President Obama’s appointments were being blocked by an “obstructionist” Republican minority- even though only 4 out of 1,560 Obama appointees have actually been denied confirmation by the Senate since the President took office. Republicans in Congress decry the passage of the Affordable Care Act, claiming that Democrats seek to expand the government’s role in healthcare- when Republicans silently did the same thing with the...

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Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

The economy is slow, domestic scandals grip the land, and the President wants action against WMD’s in the Middle East. What year is this, 2003? America finds itself debating the merits of military intervention again, this time in Syria. Great rifts in both parties have been opened, showing signs of weathered support for a continual state of war that has existed since Sept. 11, 2001. President Obama’s recent speech on the debate over military intervention in Syria reeks of a series of defeats he has suffered since winning re-election in November. Make no mistake: the back-and-forth debate on Syria...

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Is the Dollar Dying?

It's rectangular. It's green. It doesn't dissolve after a cycle in the washing machine. The dollar is probably the most recognizable symbol of the United States’ economic strength. After the American economy emerged as the most powerful global economic force at the end of the second World War, the United States found itself the guarantor of the world's most commonly used currency. The "full faith and credit of the U.S. government" backs every note. Merchants the world over will readily forego trade in their own national currency and accept the American dollar. Nations around the world trade their oil in U.S. dollars. Such an advantage in commerce has strengthened the U.S. currency, even through times of economic turbulence. But are those days coming to an end? The United States has shown that it is willing to go to war to fight threats to the dollar. Not many people know that in 2000, Saddam Hussein, the infamous mustachioed madman of Mesopotamia, touted a new plan to trade his nation's oil exports in Euros instead of dollars. Soon after, the United States launched a war to remove Hussein. Once he was ousted, Iraq returned to trading its oil in dollars. Additionally, Libya's Moammar Ghadafi, who gave up his WMD programs after 9/11 and aided the U.S. with intelligence in its "War on Terror," also found himself on the wrong end of...

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The Myth Behind China’s Rise at America’s Demise

It's a hard time to be an American. Everywhere you look, pundits delight in casting a blanket of misery over everything that is red, white and blue. Turn the oven off, grandma – there will be no more apple pie. “America is in decline,” they say, “and you better get used to it.”   Political scientists and social commentators who fancy themselves experts in the balance of power, both physical and economic, base their claims of American decline in a classic, zero-sum assumption of relative power. China is seen as a rising star in the East, and its increasing power and economic strength can only come at America’s loss. There can only be one left standing triumphant.   Who could blame them? Most of these academics grew up in a bipolar (and later a unipolar) world. Whole academic careers were focused solely on how the US could top the Soviets; later, how the United States could remain the only superpower.   The commonly accepted theory that the United States is in a slow decline isn't completely baseless, but it isn't concrete either. It’s easy to sulk at the conditions in America today: a stagnant economy, outsourcing of manufacturing, rising national debt, ineffective leadership at all levels and no real plan to fix its problems. However, when looking at the relative economic power of the United States around the world,...

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