Fred Reed, whom we've met in these pages many times, isn't very hopeful about the future of the USA. It's hard to gainsay the negatives he's seeing.
I am not sure why people write columns. Partly from boredom, I suppose, or lack of anything better to do. Partly from exasperation. Yet partly from the hope that if enough people collectively become aware of problems, they might, just maybe, do something about them. I can’t believe this any longer. Today’s crimes, lunacies, and decays are too many, profitable, and intractable. We are racing out of control toward some as yet dimly limned catastrophe. Hang on and take the ride.
To begin with, America is no longer a country. It is a set of special interests occupying the same place: Corporations, races, ethnicities, faiths, ideologies, foreign agents pretending to be Americans, all at each other’s throats. No cure is possible.
Racial relations are a disaster. Blacks, fourteen percent of the country, are congenitally furious at whites. They neither assimilate nor want to. Whether they should doesn’t matter since it will not happen.
. . .
Hispanics, seventeen percent of the population, have a much higher likelihood of assimilating, and are doing so, but it will not happen overnight and will never be complete. They face intense hostility from much of the white population. Add Somalis, North Africans, Jews, Asians, and various Muslims and you have more than a third of the country. Their interests are their own interests. This cannot be changed.
Americans no longer have a shared identity, a common culture to hold them together. In 1950 America was overwhelmingly white, European, and Christian. How deeply one believed was not the point. Christianity was a matrix binding all, as Catholicism is in Latin America. Today Christianity is like marijuana–tolerated, barely legal, but better not to get caught. Whites are reviled by those of lesser capacity and, weirdly, by themselves. What do we now have in common? Almost nothing. This will not change before some strange looming denouement befalls us.
Government has changed irrevocably, and changes yet. It no longer consists of executive, judicial, and legislative branches. In practice the branches are now the Presidency, Wall Street, the corporations, AIPAC, and the media, with overlap and interlocking directors. Elections are play toys to occupy the public. The levers of governance are no longer accessible to the populace. Governments gain power. They do not give it up. This will not change.
. . .
Overall, America declines into the Third World. The one percent own most of the country while the middle class declines. Retirement plans and health insurance evanesce. The police become more brutal and less accountable. Censorship intensifies. Impunity grows: Nobody went to jail for the subprime scam. Politicians pose in front of The Flag, trumpet democracy but do not practice it. Surveillance quietly grows: TSA, tracking by cell-phone location records, NSA’s internal spying, social media recording everything we do, and now Alexa and voice-controlled televisions constantly listen in our homes. Civil unrest grows with street gangs of Antifa and BLM fighting white nationalists and defying police.
We know the foregoing, many of us. The takeaway is that none of it is preventable. We careen toward whatever epochal demise awaits us. Slow motion or all at once, it will be a doozy.
There's more at the link. I very strongly recommend clicking over to Fred's site to read the whole thing.
I must admit, recent primary elections appear to confirm Fred's views. Consider last night in Florida. The Democratic candidate for governor is a "progressive", endorsed by Bernie Sanders from his socialist perspective. The Republican candidate is endorsed by President Trump, a capitalist and (relative) conservative. From what I can see, they espouse radically different positions, and offer radically different solutions to the voting public on how to deal with our problems. It's an "either-or" situation, without much "meet-in-the-middle". That's just one primary election. Many others, in many other states, appear to offer the same conundrum.
As William Butler Yeats said, in another context: "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold". Is there a "center" in American politics any more? Is there a single common value around which both Left and Right can coalesce, rejecting the extremes? If you can see one, please let us know in Comments . . . because the politicians certainly aren't offering one!