The biggest threats to American pre-eminence -- China, Russia and Islamic fundamentalism -- are also, not coincidentally, the biggest threats to human freedom.
Consider China's decision to censor the Internet for foreign media during the Olympics.
The Chinese government wants to control its people. It wants to do that by controlling the information they receive. Whatever. In many ways, the creaking, rust-covered communist regime is helping us by holding China back.
But suffocating Olympic visitors is another thing entirely. It's proof that, unchecked, Chinese influence would choke human freedoms wherever it could. We'll decide what you need to see and know, their attitude is.
That kind of attitude is a toxin to the American body. Nor is it much of a stretch to say it's anathema to the Olympic spirit of human striving and achievement.
"We will provide sufficient access to the Internet for reporters," a Chinese Olympic spokesman says. Sure you will. Of course, it's the Chinese government that will decide what is sufficient and what is not.
What a sad, horrible thing to be so afraid of ideas.
On Tuesday, China had to apologize for roughing up two Japanese journalists covering the terrorist bombing there. Another glimpse into Chinese sensibilities.
As the most powerful free nation on Earth, America may be all that stands in between freedom and the Chinese Olympic experience of censorship and intimidation.
We already know the best thing about this Olympics: leaving China when it's over.
God bless America.