1. Regional or
1-a. The Middle East
What should America’s response be
to an increasingly aggressive Islam – that clearly sees itself as a new
international dominator, from within Western societies themselves as well
as from its position in the Middle East?
1-b. China and East Asia
As China muscles up demographically,
economically and militarily, how will this affect the international status
1-c. India and South
As India muscles up demographically
and economically (and possibly militarily), how will this affect the international
1-d. Western Europe
What is the future of a Western
Europe which once dominated the world and brought our globe its first international
political/cultural system ever – but now seems to be on the receiving
rather than the sending end of the dynamic cultural, economic and demographic
forces moving across the international stage?
1-e. Russia and Eastern
What is the future of a once-superpower
Russia – especially now that the non-Russian lands it once dominated have
moved into or at least toward the orbit of Western Europe?
1-f. Latin America
What is likely to be the larger
international role of a Latin America which is growing demographically
by leaps and bounds and seems slowly to be getting its economic act together?
1-g. Sub-Saharan Africa
What is the future of a continent
which, though full of natural resources, is crushed by run-away population
growth, supremely corrupt and cruel dictatorships, and intense tribal hatreds
which have turned that continent into something of a human disaster?
2. Global or Strategic
2-a. International trade
and financial policy.
What can America do at this point
to get itself out of its deep indebtedness to China – and its terrible
vulnerability to a shift in financial strategies on the part of Beijing
that could bankrupt America? How can we encourage and protect global
investment and trade of the sort that brings greater prosperity to all
2-b. The spread of nuclear
What new nuclear strategies must
be developed in the face of the possibility of the spread of nuclear arms
to warrior groups for which at present we know of no effective deterrent?
2-c. New military strategies.
Who is developing an army 1) able
to fight enemies with no uniforms and no known national authority behind
their actions and 2) able to serve more as a force protecting or policing
a stable international status quo rather than aggressively creating a new
3. Domestic Strategic
3-a. Government budgeting.
What can be done to bring government
spending and government income into balance?
3-b. Demographics and
What can a nation of immigrants
who forged a strong cultural union of different peoples on the basis of
a single Anglo culture do to continue to draw new blood into our society
– without letting immigration turn itself into an overwhelming invasion
of alien cultures?
3-c. Energy policy and
What can be done to restore the
nation’s economy to relative energy self-sufficiency which we possessed
on our way to superpower status in the mid 20th century – but have since
gradually let slip to a point where we can be easily blackmailed by the
mere threat of disrupting the flow of foreign energy so necessary to the
American economy? What can be done to encourage greater energy efficiency
that relieves energy pressures not only on the industrial nations but also
the poorer nations – and offers better environmental stewardship at the
3-d. The citizen army
– or some other form of national service.
What can be done to restore the
idea of national military service as its citizens’ obligation to the nation
that nurtures it – rather than total reliance on a mercenary army of paid
professionals (perhaps appropriate for officers – but certainly not for
the ranks and files of a truly democratic or national army)?
4. Domestic structural
4-a. Restoration of the
What can we do to reverse the drift
of the republic toward a Washington, D.C. based centralism that has left
state and local authority enfeebled – so that the principle of checks and
balances is restored as America’s long-standing guarantee against the growth
of political absolutism?
4-b. National family
and education strategy.
What can be done to revive the family
as the primary moral and cultural teacher of America’s future generations,
the local schools as a vibrant follow-up in our “grass-roots” system of
education, and higher education as a portal to excellence for any American
seeking further education, regardless of personal or family wealth?
4-c. National health
and wellness policy.
What can be done to make health
care and elder care fully available to Americans without the danger of
bankrupting personal or family fortunes in the process – or on the other
hand of discouraging talented Americans from entering the health professions?
4-d. The national media
and popular culture.
What can be done to bring greater
cultural consensus to a nation deeply split into warring cultural subcommunities?
What can be done to restore the sense of “good taste” to our popular culture?
How in a free and open society can we get our media elite to cultivate
a greater sense of responsibility for the values they consciously or unconsciously
mold into our national culture?
5. A Sense of General
(Cultural or Spiritual) National Vocation
foundations of American society.
What can be done to bridge the gap
between America’s traditional sense of Christian spirituality and its equally
traditional sense of practical / pragmatic / or secular logic? What
can be done to restore a sense of Puritan or Yankee virtue to our doings
as a nation? How can we bring the idea of “a nation under God” to
some kind of reality – one that unifies rather than divides Americans?
5-b. National leadership.
Which of America’s leaders possess
such a national vocational vision and are easily and artfully able to communicate
that vision to the rest of the nation?