The wheels are coming off in this country. Various warring tribes howl at each other. Precious few actually listen to anyone outside their own little upholstered reality tunnels. CNN is becoming inadvertently comical with ponderous Very Serious reports about how the US should manage the world, clearly unaware that the rest of the planet increasingly is routing around or ignoring the United States. That’s what happens when empires fall. This can and will have disastrous, violent effects at home as more and more realize the USA is not the unquestioned shot caller anymore, and lash out at whatever target is convenient.
Not only is our empire falling apart, other countries must feel we are barely rational. Our Middle East foreign policy is a jumbled mess of strategy and tactics that change every few weeks and appears designed to alienate as many as possible. At home, Republicans and Democrats blame the other for whatever new atrocity happened this week. College students indulge themselves in narcissism about gender pronouns, mistakenly thinking this will somehow lead to social justice. Most everywhere you look, battle lines are being drawn.
A high school history teacher said “When compromise breaks down, war breaks out.” Internal war is precisely where this nation is headed unless we all act to stop this lurch towards disaster. We need to stop demonizing each other. We can and must be able to disagree without being disagreeable. The alternative is continued rupturing.
I doubt that I’m I alone in worrying that America today is losing its collective mind. Our official relations with other countries seem perfectly designed to provoke chaos. The universities have melted into toxic sumps beyond even anti-intellectualism to a realm of hallucination. Demented gunmen mow down total strangers weekly in what looks like a growing competition to end their miserable lives with the highest victim score. The financial engineers have done everything possible to pervert and undermine the operations of markets. The political parties are committing suicide by cluelessness and corruption.
Because it can happen here.
The phenomenon of demented lone gunmen killing strangers and innocents will morph into civil insurrection, especially as the major political parties break apart and the loosed factions set out to settle their old scores by whatever means they can. History knows that violence is infectious and that social inhibitions melt away when the conditions are ripe. Groups give themselves permission to act outside the bounds of normal behavior, and all of a sudden atrocity is the order of the day.