America is the most powerful nation in the world, when Rome finally collapsed it was the still the most powerful nation on earth. So what would cause America to cease to be a beacon for hope and promise. Two things contribute, the lost of respect, Iraq has damaged that badly, and the loss of economic status. Both issues the republicans have helped undermine through unilateralism and deficit spending. A Global Power Shift in the Making by James F. Hoge, Jr. "The transfer of power from West to East is gathering pace and soon will dramatically change the context for dealing with international challenges -- as well as the challenges themselves. Many in the West are already aware of Asia's growing strength. This awareness, however, has not yet been translated into preparedness. And therein lies a danger: that Western countries will repeat their past mistakes...." "Today, China is the most obvious power on the rise. But it is not alone: India and other Asian states now boast growth rates that could outstrip those of major Western countries for decades to come. China's economy is growing at more than nine percent annually, India's at eight percent, and the Southeast Asian "tigers" have recovered from the 1997 financial crisis and resumed their march forward. China's economy is expected to be double the size of Germany's by 2010 and to overtake Japan's, currently the world's second largest, by 2020. If India sustains a six percent growth rate for 50 years, as some financial analysts think possible, it will equal or overtake China in that time." Foreign Affairs - A Global Power Shift in the Making - James F. Hoge, Jr.