More than anything else, it was the influence of American manufacturing that won the 20th century.
Its revolutionary scale provided the planes, ships and tanks that helped America, Britain, Russia and the allies to destroy Nazism and end Imperial Japan.
Facing the Soviet Union, American manufacturing offered global citizens an informed choice between the rot of communist authoritarianism and the opportunity of capitalist democracy.
It delivered the industries and machines and jobs that brought new prosperity to billions across the planet.
But that was then.
Today, there’s an urgent need for a new revolution of American industry – one that’s fit for the 21st century - an energy revolution. That which can provide the foundation of America’s future prosperity and the new shield of democratic international order.
And let’s be clear, this is no pie in the sky delusion.
American innovators have already marked out the road ahead of us.
In the Shale surge, the tapping of new reserves and the development of better supply lines, America’s energy future has never looked brighter. From the Bakken of North Dakota to Midland, Texas; we’re finding that where investment goes in, broadly shared wealth come out. After all, these boom-#towns offer $80,000 paychecks as the norm (*although social problems have also emerged).
For many reasons, we desperately need to energize this budding opportunity.
Empowered, our energy revolution would enable America’s escape from the OPEC dual-prison of Middle Eastern theocracies and Venezuela’s necrocracy. Finally, our foreign policy would see liberation from an addiction to cheap energy imports.
And at home, with dynamic and diversified energy production we’d see lower costs for individuals and businesses alike. We’d be able to expand our trade in the global economy - barriers to entry would diminish and our commerce would increase.
More relevant to present circumstances, as I’ve noted before, an empowered American energy industry would also afford Europe an alternative to Gazprom blackmail. And as Russia pursues new exports to Asia, our energy exports would undercut Putin’s strategy across the world – we could offer energy supplies at better prices and without the baggage of threats.
These ambitions are undoubtedly profound. Still, like a torch in the darkness, they offer the intersection for America’s moral and strategic imperatives.
Unfortunately however, while the bounty sits in clear view, our willingness to grasp the evident potential is far less certain.
But it’s only a symptom of a larger dysfunction.
Instead of expedited export licenses, all too often we’re getting vague undertakings and obvious disinterest. Absent approval for new exploration, we’re getting partisan posturing. Somehow, just as the President always finds a way to fast track new energy regulations, he never manages to miss an opportunity to unleash America’s bubbling abundance. Unbelievably, the President seems to preference left wing lobby groups before national security necessities.
We can only hope that the President awakes from his slumber.