The failure of the U.S. to create a league of democracies, a new multilateral alliance system, or cement the norms of R2P are not failures of this system, but triumphs which preserve the less glamorous and less appreciated peace that allow America and the world, despite its perceptions of threat and aggravation over the wretchedness of foreign regimes, to enjoy the greatest great power security in its history.
Every concert has only one leader, and I think the author makes a good case that the U.S., as the leader in this concert, can have failures without destroying the music.
As long as the tempo remains the same, the concert can go on, even while the conductor experiences failures along the way.
Tempo: The set of characteristic rhythms of decision-making in the subjective life of an individual or organization, colored by associated patterns of emotion and energy.
The failures of the leader in decision making is not always fatal to the concert, because of the actions of the emotion and energy, which produce a tempo all their own.
These “failures” in decision making may even help enrich the music as the emotions and energy changes through out the program.
However, with too many failures, at a destructive tempo to the music, the concert can, itself, become a failure.
This destructive tempo can be found in the words “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR).
When one emotion (such as fear) or one source of energy (such as Islam) presents itself as the only emotion or source of energy for the concert, it becomes a “Cheap Trick” that can become constructive or destructive, to the outcome of the concert.
This constructive or destructive tendency of a cheap trick happens because a cheap trick represents a spike in the tempo, of both emotion and energy, which can add to the concert; create something out of the emotion and energy, to build something new on; or add/take-away something that destroys all of the emotion and energy, of all the tempo, of the concert.
I don’t think the failures the author describes destroyed the concert. I also don’t believe they are something to build on, but were something that added to the concert.
But then again, perhaps they add something to the concert, of another leader
Perhaps this new concert will be just as secure, but with a different tempo. It could be this change in tempo is what is being felt, as more feel the emotion in the change of energy and see the direction that the energy is coming from, east instead of west.