What makes America great and our greatest vulnerability
People disagree on how great or not great America is. Some say we’ve lost our edge in this area or that. Others say we excel in everything. By some measures like GDP we’ve outperformed others for generations. Our military dominates others in total size and firepower. We’ve almost never been invaded.
What makes us excel when we do? I’ll answer this question from my perspective not to say good, bad, right, or wrong—only to share my view and what it suggests.
Many Americans would like to say it’s the people, but people here are like people everywhere. We share DNA. Some might say our Constitution does it, but other nations have copied it more or less.
What sets us apart? The map below I think shows the top two factors that enable this country to excel in areas it does.
Two huge oceans border us on either side, making invasion nearly impossible, combined with friendly neighbors to the north and south, neither of which has the resources to invade, principally the population or the resources to sustain an army if they wanted to.
Internally, we have huge amounts of fertile land and natural resources.
In other words, our geography enables us ot create more with lower cost to protect ourselves than probably any other country. This bounty comes without effort on our part.
Our greatest risk
Our greatest risk, as I see it, would come from undermining the sources of our stability. If the United States split into two countries, no matter how aligned they started, each would have to prepare to defend itself against the other. Other nations would benefit from playing the two nations against each other. Each country’s military would have to defend the border.
Our nation is becoming more polarized. If I were president, I would stress maybe above all, the value of unity and the likely demise to our stability and standard of living that would result from splitting. The closer we get to splitting, the more other nations will sense their relative benefit arising from a split. They’ll act on that incentive.
Our other great risk
I see our other great risk being our population outgrowing the resources to feed and supply it. Overshooting those limits would force us to depend on others who could control us.
If we value stability, I see our mission to retain unity and to live within our means. Losing our geographic advantage any time could result in losing it forever.
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