Let’s give real thought to why American government is in such a state.
As Americans on both sides of the political aisle highlight how poorly situated our federal government is in a time of international volatility (albeit for different reasons), we can’t look only at events of the past few months. We also can’t assume we know the full answer fully from our own perspectives, so this is just my brief summary.
Certainly, the seeds of the present fell into Western Civilization’s soil centuries ago, but tracing the many interweaving vines from those events isn’t directly helpful for any practical action. So, the broadest I’ll go is to blame a century and a half of progressives’ impatience with the gradual advancement of society coupled with conservatives’ inattentiveness to preventing them from undermining the core of our key institutions.
That jointly culpable broad trend culminated, after the outrageous treatment of President George W. Bush, in detrimental inflection points during the Obama presidency, which transformed what should have been a morally historic milestone — election of the first black President — into perhaps the pivot point at which the end of our country became inevitable. Many examples are available, but a few of the principal ones are:
- Obama’s general tone of Alinskyite division
- The government’s overreaches and subversion of precedent and due process for such innovations as Obamacare and the housing bubble bailouts
- The Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage as the culmination of a social campaign by cultural elites, especially inasmuch as it involved simply devaluing and ignoring contrary arguments, supported by…
- Progressives’ growing comfort with using psychological strategies to “nudge” masses of people toward “decisions” that the powerful people preferred (for everybody’s own good, naturally)
- The Obama administration’s shuffling of billions of dollars of borrowed federal money to radical activists and intellectuals by various projects, funding streams, and requirements
Not only did each of these factors have its own directly deleterious consequences, but together they set the stage for the backlash election of President Donald Trump, after which progressives and Democrats (if they aren’t precisely the same group) amplified their divisiveness and self-permission to ignore established process and civic etiquette, and even (I’d say) to undermine our democratic standards in order to cheat.
That state of affairs — which could be the result of natural forces and human nature or a to-some-degree deliberate campaign by communist revolutionaries — has brought us to what might be the end stages of collapse or, at least, a civil war.
Featured image created by Justin Katz using Dall-E 3 on ChatGPT.