Is America Broken?

As many observers now fear, the results of the 2012 election spell the end of America as we once knew it. In a sober and detailed analysis of the American malaise, conducted from almost every conceivable angle, FrontPage columnist Matthew Vadum arrives at the conclusion that “strife and unrest will take over America…there will be an explosion that will rock society to its core.” Similarly, Bryan Preston, editor of PJ Media’s Tatler, anatomizes a “shift in the culture” leading to the “erosion of the rule of law” and the destructive belief in a “hollow messiah.” Joseph Puder is convinced that “an unfamiliar America is emerging in which traditional American values that made the U.S. exceptional are evaporating” and reminds us that the stock market fell 300 points a day after the election. Remarking on the mounting debacle of policy failures on which the president has doubled down while managing to cajole an apparent majority of Americans, David Goldman is surely right when he ruefully admits that “We Americans love no one better than he who helps us delude ourselves.”

Tom Blumer, for his part, points to just three, among many, of the Obama administration’s domestic projects intended to strengthen the Democratic Party as they weaken the nation: record-shattering enrollment in the food-stamp program, creating ever more dependency; a plan to close another 1.6 million acres of oil-shale development land in order to appeal to the eco-crowd; and a devastating uptick in job-killing regulations, especially with regard to ObamaCare and the socializing of medicine, thus ensuring a further degrading of the labor market. And Nidra Poller writing in American Thinker asks rhetorically, “Am I wrong in thinking that what has just happened bears no resemblance to a normal election?” Her prediction is chastening: “The economy will pursue its downturn. More and more Americans will be out of work. Anger will mount; social cohesion will continue to weaken. … Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the government and society will be more open… congressional investigations will be stonewalled.” Vadum, Preston, Puder, Blumer, Goldman, and Poller are only six of a plethora of respected commentators who are appalled by the seismic disruption of American civic life represented by the Obama victory.

Others argue that the electoral aftermath has been grossly exaggerated. PJ Chicago editor Rick Moran, for example, claims that it is “utter nonsense to posit disaster for the country when you base that prediction on a flawed, wildly imaginative analysis of what an Obama second term will bring.” Moran believes that “short-term fixes…will allow us to avoid any kind of massive economic meltdown,” that Americans will “look to the state for assistance less and less and support the idea of limited government more and more,” and that there “is nothing fundamentally wrong with Americans.” One might be forgiven for wondering what planet the man has been living on.

The facts are these. The vote itself remains highly problematic, given that there were (and are) millions of illegitimate voters on the rolls — illegals, dead people, multiple voters — and indeed, in every state in which voter ID was required, Obama lost; the reports of the New Black Panthers doing what they do best, standing guard at polling stations and expelling GOP observers; uncounted votes; the surreal Chavez/Saddam type turnout for Obama in some regions (in 59 Philadelphia districts, the tally was 19,605 votes for Obama, 0 for Romney); the disqualification of the massive absentee military vote owing to the suspiciously late arrival of the ballots; and the media cover-up of the damaging Benghazi scandal. All these factors clearly worked in favor of the Democrats, and may even have been engineered by them.

Nevertheless, whether fraudulently or not, Americans went to the polls and re-elected the most divisive, the most incompetent, the most enigmatic, and, ultimately, the most subversive president in the entire history of the republic. And the consequences, as we will begin to see, will be both catastrophic and perhaps irreversible. The economy is in a chaotic mess as the recession gathers momentum and inflation cripples the American dollar. Unemployment will continue to grow as small business is strangled in a blizzard of regulations (5,932 in the last three months) and big business and investors gradually relocate. Foreign policy is in ruins: the Middle East is a conflagration of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-American fury; China is robustly expanding its sphere of influence; and Russia is pumping geopolitical iron at the expense of an enfeebled, more “flexible,” America. “The American spirit,” writes Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, justly, “has been overwhelmed by the European model of social democracy at home and appeasement and treachery abroad.”

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 image.)