We Are Far From WW3 | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Jason Nichols during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about World War 3. You can listen to the podcast here:

I don't think we're at war right now. And this is probably the first time we've not been at war in a long time. I take the old school definition of a hot war, and that is that you are directly involved in the conflict — that you have been attacked or you are attacking someone else. I understand that these are difficult times, but I'm not sure that we've ever had a time in U.S. history that hasn't been difficult for one reason or another. We've also always had these kind of proxy conflicts with other world powers, whether it's China or whether it's Russia. So I don't know that this time is any different. I think we could debate whether we've already been in a kind of a proxy war with Russia, even with what was going on in Syria and in the Middle East.

nuclear bomb
Stock image of a nuclear bomb mushroom cloud. New research predicts that in the aftermath of a nuclear war, crop production will be severely impacted. iStock / Getty Images Plus

So I don't see this as different, although I understand Fields' argument that this is serious and it is affecting us. It is affecting the prices that we have here in the United States. And I will never make light of inflation because, you know, I just had to pay five grand for my wife's car, and I don't think it would've costed that much for repairs; I think prices are just going up.

But at the same time, and I say this with a grain of salt, overall our economy is relatively strong. People keep saying that we're having a recession. I read Barron's and there's debate about whether we're in a recession. But I would say that by the economic numbers, we're not there. We're not near the Great Depression the way we saw during the World War II era. I wouldn't want to put it out there that we are in this kind of doom and gloom situation. It is a difficult situation, but that's [part of] being the United States. We've always had that.

Dr. Jason Nichols is an award winning senior lecturer in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland College Park and was the longtime editor-in-chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture. He cohosts the "Vince and Jason Save the Nation" podcast.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.