What is America's place in the world?

Calvin Trillin: Internationally, I think the United States is gonna have to figure out a role for itself as – what sounds like an advertising slogan – “the last remaining superpower”. And obviously it’s not the Cold War anymore. It’s something else, and I don’t think that the United States has quite figured out . . . And I think also the United States is gonna have to figure out how to catch up with other countries not so much economically, but I mean when it comes to just statistics like infant mortality and things . . . literacy. I think that the United States is actually falling behind in a lot of ways, so I think we’re gonna have to figure out how to not be simply the people with the biggest army or the only army when it gets right down to it. I mean I think the United States, last time I read, spends as much money on what’s called “defense”, although not many armies are attacking lately, as everybody else put together. Or pretty close. So I think . . . I think obviously the United States . . . The question of how the United States is going to use its power is still not clear from the days following the Cold War.

 

Recorded on: 9/5/07

We still haven't figured out what to do with ourselves in the wake of the Cold War.

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