Sorry, Mitt: It Won’t Be an American Century

China’s GDP will catch up with America’s over the course of the next decade. The World Bankpredicts that the dollar, euro, and China’s renminbi will become co-equals in a “multi-currency” monetary system by 2025. Goldman Sachs expects the collective GDP of the top four developing countries — Brazil, China, India, and Russia — to match that of the G-7 countries by 2032. The United States will no doubt exit the current slump and bounce back economically in the years ahead. Nonetheless, a more level global playing field is inevitable….

Sorry, Mitt: It Won’t Be an American Century

American politicians should stop pretending the United States runs the world.

“This century must be an American century,” Mitt Romney insisted in a recent speech on foreign policy. “In an American century,” the former Massachusetts governor continued, “America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.” Adhering to his party’s traditional playbook, the likely Republican nominee went on to reaffirm that the United States is “an exceptional country with a unique destiny.”

In an election season, such talk rolls easily off the tongue. But Romney’s hackneyed rhetoric is woefully out of step — both with an American electorate hungry for a less costly brand of foreign policy and with a world in the midst of tectonic change. A sharp economic downturn and expensive, inconclusive conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have left Americans ready for a focus on the home front. Abroad, the charge for the next U.S. president can hardly be to stick his head in the sand and deny that the global distribution of power is fast changing. On the contrary, it is to react soberly and steadily to the implications of such change and ensure that the United States remains secure and prosperous even as economic and military strength spreads to new quarters.