Via the ABC’s number one CCP sympathiser, Stan Grant:
This week’s insurrection in Washington has been shocking but not at all surprising. It’s part of a long deep unravelling of America.
The angry mobs storming the Capitol building reflect a broken country where tens of millions of people have traded the American dream for American carnage and no longer know what truth is.
American politics, business and media have been complicit in delivering the US to this moment.
The sad scene of a country that billed itself as a beacon of democracy — always contestable anyway — now tearing itself apart has also revealed the hypocrisy of those condemning it.
Former president George W Bush says it is a “sickening and heartbreaking” attack on democracy. America, he says, resembles a “banana republic”.
But this is from a man who pushed the idea of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq.
His lies led to more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths, upturned the Middle East, setting off unending conflict, and cost the US $US2 trillion.
Bill Clinton says the attack on the US Capitol building is fuelled by four years of “poisonous politics” by Donald Trump.
This is Clinton who as president disgraced the White House, perjured himself and became only the second president to be impeached; Donald Trump became the third.
While Trump pedals his conspiracies of election fraud, remember Hillary Clinton told Democrats there was “a vast right-wing conspiracy” trying to destroy her husband’s presidency.
America has always teetered on the edge of collapse
American political leaders have been playing loose with the truth, deepening partisan divisions and whipping up anger amongst their supporters for decades.
Trump has exploited sick politics: from Richard Nixon’s Watergate lies and corruption to Bush and Clinton, the road leads to Donald Trump.
The President’s dangerous delusions and his crazed followers should remind us that America has always teetered on the edge of collapse: a nation born in crisis and awash with bloodshed.
Let’s not forget it was created by revolution, torn apart by civil war and has seen presidents assassinated.
The 1960s were marked by violence, revolt and political killings and they lit the fuse for division and tribalism.
America is locked in a perpetual culture war, lacerated by class, race and faith.
Political writer Michael Cohen traces today’s malaise to the election of Nixon in 1968, a time he calls a “maelstrom”, a violent whirlpool of disorder.
Americans formed battle lines, shouting each other down over black civil rights, gay equality, family values, gun laws, abortion or feminism.
That year revealed a deep cleavage among the American people and it profoundly reshaped politics. The Democrats lost the white working class that was captured by an increasingly conservative and religious Republican right.
Trump didn’t pretend to govern for all
Trump was right when he said: “This country was seriously divided before I got here.”
At least presidents before him paid lip service to unity. Trump has never pretended that he governs for all.
The country was ripe for his brand of political opportunism: us-versus-them populism feeding on fear, anxiety and exploiting racism.
He was a Barnum and Bailey political circus act made for the 24/7 media age, where “truth” is a matter of opinion.
Journalist Matt Taibbi in his book Hate Inc says the news media is addictive and anxiety inducing, pitting people against each other while often failing to hold power accountable.
The big cable news broadcasters, he says, are politically partisan, each speaking into their own echo chambers.
Little wonder Americans have lost faith in truth and trust in institutions.
Growing inequality has fractured the country, with the working poor left behind while power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of what has been dubbed an “American meritocracy”.
The financial crash of 2008 left the country poorer and deeply scarred; ordinary Americans lost their homes and their jobs while rich bankers got bailed out.
Research by economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton reveals a shattered America of broken families, drug dependency, increasing suicide, declining wages or no work at all.
To these people, they say, Washington politics “looks more like a racket”.
A return to politics as usual is not enough
Trump will soon be gone from office and the Democrats will now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Joe Biden has an opportunity to deliver change to America but nothing he has said thus far gives us any confidence he can reverse 40 years of drift, despondency and disillusion.
After the mayhem of this week, all he has had to offer is the same old platitudes of coming together and respecting the rule of law.
This crisis demands more than Biden’s appeal to decency and consensus. A return to politics as usual is not enough.
America appears as a nation that refuses to be governed. Some have called the events of this week an attempted “coup” or “sedition”, and there are those fearing a wider conflict.
Time to break up the union?
So where to America? It could always disintegrate; fracture and break apart.
In his new book Break it Up, writer Richard Kreitner says: “There never was any guarantee the country would survive, and there is none now.”
Kreitner reminds us America has always lived with the threat of collapse. From the start, there were those who believed even then the union was too big to hold.
It survives by compromise and when that failed in the 1860s Americans made war on each other.
Today it is a country whose electoral college system can ignore popular will, whose Supreme Court is politically stacked, where power is held and passed around like a family heirloom.
Kreitner says there is too much at stake for complacency. He says Americans “need to recreate” their country.
The constitution needs an overhaul. Congress doesn’t work, the House is not truly representative and the Senate has too much power.
The country’s deep inequalities are destroying the promise of America. It must redistribute wealth and reach back to those left behind.
Kreitner’s book is not a call for an end to America but a warning about how it could end. After this week it is timely and sobering reading.
He quotes one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin: “We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Franklin left Americans a gift and a curse: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
America is not going to break up. This is the fantasy of an anti-American loon.
In the history of American progression, last week’s skirmish was a barely visible nothing as the nation voted out Trump and his crazies in both houses.
Get it? Trump is in his death throes. The Dems now have the policy traction to keep him out for eight years. He’ll then be 84 and very likely dead.
That is not to say that American divisions are not real. They are. But where the Republicans go from here is anybody’s guess. Trump’s cult of personality is immense. His demise will seriously dent the movement of his various loons, and offer the chance to the Dems to recapture its traditional base. The US just lurched dramatically to the left not right.
Riven by race, class, populist, libertarian and authoritarian grievance politics, the most likely scenario is that Republicans spend the next decade in the wilderness trying sort themselves out.
Some kind of collective hysteria has taken hold of the global left on this. A dark fantasy in which their long-held anti-American intuitions have come to imagined fruition in a self-congratulatory conflagration of narcissistic drivel. Perhaps it’s the last outpouring of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Take a Bex and lie down, Stan.