A surprising observation was made in a talk at Hillsdale College last month:
Finally, the big transformation that has been predicted for a generation now—-that power would shift from the U.S. and Europe to Asia and other places—-is now measurably underway. In the 1990s, between the Gulf War and the Iraq War, the U.S. and its Western European allies controlled 70 percent of world GDP; that number is now 43 percent. The West still does relatively well, but not so well that it can count on the rest of the world to rally behind it automatically. Whether in victory or defeat, Americans may be about to discover that you cannot run a twentieth century foreign policy with a twenty-first century society.
All my life I have assumed that the USA is so big and powerful that it could do whatever it wants all around the world. Also that the USA is inherently virtuous. That the first assumption is no longer reliable is cause for some humility with respect to the second.