We Are In Big Trouble

This country is in big trouble. I’m serious. I’m an historian of 20th century American political history, with a concentration on civil liberties, and I have read extensively and obsessively about the current situation in the United States for many years. There is really one conclusion: it’s probably too late to do anything about it.

The economic inequality, the political chaos, the fanaticism far beyond reason of one of our two major political parties will result in a collapse of our society, in one way or another. I very much fear that both President Obama and Vice President Biden will be assassinated, making Speaker Boehner president, in the event that President Obama seems certain to win re-election. A declaration of martial law and a fake search for the “terrorists” will follow, and none of us will vote in a free and fair election for the rest of our lives.

Or, alternately, if President Obama wins, some states will move towards secession — they’d almost have to. The heated and irrational rhetoric of the fanatical right makes it impossible for many people to stand down from the extremist positions they have already taken, and encourages further extremism. What then? The evangelicals (who are also fanatical Republicans) long ago captured control of the United States military, and the majority of service people are from the South (I believe). What would the military do in the event of a vote of secession? The trouble is that secession must be constitutional, as (a) the constitution does not ban it and (b) all powers not enumerated to Congress are reserved for the states or the people, and (c) the states have as much right to tear up the social contract that is the U.S. Constitution as their forefathers did in 1776. How would President Obama react? How does he, as a constitutional scholar, see the issue of secession? One would hope he would simply let them go (with continued responsibility for their fair share of the U.S. federal debt), but there is no telling his reaction to such an event.

Consider what happened in the Soviet Union. When the Baltic States declared independence, the Soviet government under Mikhail Gorbachev used violence against its people, which only emboldened them and weakened the Soviets on the world stage. Gorbachev backed off, drafted a new union treaty, and found himself under house arrest in his vacation dacha. The coup would have succeeded without the actions of Boris Yeltsin.

I do not believe that the United States can continue for long in its present state. Our political system has become too dysfunctional, and one of our major political parties is in the hands of politically, economically, and constitutionally illiterate fanatics. The Democratic Party is as much the mouthpiece for the corporate oligarchy as the Republicans, and is stuffed with cowards besides. President Obama has proved a coward on occasion, and is far too willing to cave into the demands of the fanatics. He looks weaker with every compromise.

We cannot trust our major network and cable news stations. They disguise opinion as “news” and confuse the viewer to an astounding degree. The mouthpiece of the far right, Fox News, won a lawsuit in Florida in 2003 with the defense that they have no obligation to tell the truth. The only source of news that is consistently factual (although not perfect) is “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report.” In other words, we live in a nation where the only people telling the truth are the comedians — like the jesters of old.

This is almost entirely the fault of the Baby-Boomers. They destroyed everything they touched. They were handed everything and they blew. Shame, shame, shame on this greedy, narcissistic, self-centered, short-sighted generation.

I believe the best solution is peaceful disunion into regional republics. Perhaps a skeletal union could exist, for a common currency, foreign, and defense policy. Or simply a customs union. This seems the only logical outcome of current events. With luck, violence can be avoided, as the end result will be the same.

The United States is finished, I am sad to say.