I’m not 100% sure what you’re arguing here. But I suppose that’s social media: two thoughts cannot co-exist.
American can be an Empire in decline, and the “sole superpower,” a direct historical reference to a time when there were two “superpowers.” An antiquated concept for a fractured world. It’s not even a compliment.
Maybe the U.S. will collapse like the Soviets. Or maybe it will be a slow stroll to powerlessness like the British Empire. I dunno. Probably split the difference: a slow stroll, then collapse.
But if you don’t think money is power, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want evidence of waning, but strong, U.S. soft power, go use Twitter or Facebook, Google something, buy something from Amazon, comment here, on Medium. You may rationalize that your Apple product was manufactured in China, but you're still contributing to one of the most successful companies in the world, which is a US company. Right now, someone is buying a poke bowl in Cupertino because of your contribution to the cause.
Germany has become the de facto leader of the West, thankfully. America is drunk and should hand over the keys. But let’s not get uppity about Europe: the giant island off the coast of France, a part of Europe no matter what anyone says, is a basketcase and Eastern Europe has its fair share of authoritarians.