Monday, July 26, 2021
Like many observers, I didn't take Trump's campaign seriously at first. His first attempt at a campaign in 2012 collapsed before the first primary. The second defied every rule I had learned across a lifetime of observing and privately studying American politics. I assumed that the Republican Party leadership would find a way to block his ascension. Turns out, I underestimated their craven cowardice and lust for power at any cost.
I predicted that Trump's tenure would start out in chaos but he would eventually surround himself with dangerous sycophants when mainstream pundits were telling Americans to "give Trump a chance."
When the anti-Trump "resistance" embraced the narrative that Russian hacking had swayed the election and the Mueller investigation would bring Trump down, I couldn't agree " and I was right.
I correctly anticipated that Trump would do everything he could to start a war with Iran short of ordering a bombing campaign out of the blue. He pulled out of the hard-won nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and ultimately killed IRGC Commander Soleimani in Iraq in an operation that defied international law and technically started a war with Iran " that the mullahs thankfully chose not to escalate beyond injuring American service members with a carefully orchestrated missile barrage the United States military was powerless to stop.
I knew that the polls were off again in critical rust belt states in 2020, that pollsters had not solved their problem with under-sampling Trump voters. I knew 2020 looked like a repeat of 2016 " and again I was proven right.
Fourth America is collapsing as the postwar global international order decays, the digital generations " Xers, Millenials, and Zoomers " become the majority, and wealth inequality within and between nations reaches the same extreme levels they did back in the Gilded Era, during Third America before the Great Depression.
On top of it all, carbon pollution has caused the climate to begin an inexorable shift to a new, warmer regime. A process that will magnify every other kind of dysfunction already afflicting the world.
In times like these, trust between people goes way down. People stop feeling confident they know what will happen next. Disasters and catastrophes mount, driving collective anxiety.
And so people begin to re-sort themselves into tight-knit groups based on common shared values " like how to appropriately respond to a global pandemic.
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