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Is America Broken?

A house divided.

by
David Solway

Bio

November 27, 2012 - 12:06 am
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America is broken. The Democratic Party has become a regime of oligarchic socialists that has conscripted a veritable colony of dependents to ensure its hegemony. It comprises, to quote Victor Davis Hanson, “the subsidized lower classes who pay no federal income tax and receive a growing array of federal largess coupled with, on the other end, a technocratic blue-state elite making $200,000 annually” — not counting its millionaires and billionaires who revel in plutocratic immunity. As Daniel Greenfield points out, too many people are now invested in failure — those who profit from a parasitical hold on entitlements and borrowed or redistributed revenue, and those who “feed off the infrastructure of the welfare state” and “get rich by helping the poor.” The economic miscarriage of the last four years, he continues, is “not a disappointment to them, but an encouragement.”

It doesn’t stop there. The Fourth Estate is now almost entirely corrupt, a political annex of the Democrats that retains its power to sway citizen-readers because it masquerades as a free and impartial press. The rift between red and blue states appears irreconcilable, and it is no surprise that petitions for secession are presently circulating in 22 states (as of this writing), including Texas, which was at one time an independent republic. These petitions may not be initially successful but they are signs of radical discontent in the present and harbingers of dissent, conflict and perhaps dissolution in the future — a future to be defined by Obama’s second term in the White House. No less worrisome, according to The Telegraph, “In October the number of background checks on people applying to buy guns, an indicator of future sales, increased by 18.4 per cent.”

America is no longer a confident, unified country — it has been a house divided against itself since at least the incendiary Sixties. But it would seem to this observer that the family squabble has morphed into an all-out and irresolvable quarrel about means and ends and the shape of America to come, leading eventually to fiscal collapse and possibly to internecine strife as well. The year 2012 marks the point of no return, an ironic confirmation of the Mayan calendar at the national level.

This is the state of affairs that a capricious, self-preoccupied, dismally educated, and credulous electorate has brought upon itself, dismantling piece by piece the very democracy that has underwritten it up to now. As Winston Churchill once quipped, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” Assuming, of course, that Churchill’s “average voter,” in his or her current dementalized condition, can maintain an intelligible conversation for that length of time. The promise of unlimited goodies was enough, says historian Bruce Thornton, “to make millions of voters ignore Obama’s manifest economic malfeasance,” and vote their short-term personal interest over the long-term health and sustainability of the nation. Citing classical Greek historians Thucydides and Polybius, Thornton shows how, given sufficient time and success, democracy almost inevitably begins to work against itself when the “selfish calculus of…the individual voting citizen” trumps “the future wellbeing of the state.” “The ancient critics of Athenian democracy wouldn’t be surprised,” he laments, at the travesty of decadent governance and citizen complicity in the contemporary U.S.

The America we have taken for granted and insouciantly abused is no longer. The two-term Obama presidency, with its roots in the seditious neo-Marxist doctrines of Antonio Gramsci, Cloward-Piven and Saul Alinsky, signals what resembles the end of the great republican experiment. The American dream seems to have become just that — a dream — or what amounts to the same thing, the American nightmare. What its enemies could not do, a demoralized America has accomplished for itself. “And a man’s foes,” we read in Matthew 10:36, “shall be they of his own household.”

The only issue that remains is whether recovery and restitution, something akin to a reborning, is still possible. Recently, on a whim, I visited a so-called Metaphysical Emporium and purchased a crystal ball to add to my collection of exotica. But I must confess that, even when washed in salt water and set against a dark backdrop as recommended, it has been entirely unforthcoming on this question.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

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David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books. His latest book is The Boxthorn Tree, published in December 2012. Visit his Website at www.davidsolway.com.
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