On Us

The problems we face as a nation are much bigger than, as most Democrats see it, "this horrible Republican President and Congress."

Distorted spending decisions, selective application of free market economic policies and militarized foreign policy pursued by both parties over the last 30+ years are what fueled the anger that permitted "this horrible Republican President" to ascend, but it is the permanent conservative majority in Congress, made up of both Republicans and Democrats, that has sent this country into its long, slow decline.

The one positive of the Donald Trump presidency is that it has ripped the happy face off the deadly fiction of American exceptionalism.

Electing in 2020 another personable and integrous but unimpassioned abettor of the best and the brightest, such as Barack Obama, won't be nearly up to the job of bringing about the fundamental changes needed (we mustn't allow ourselves to forget that the number of poor and the number of wars increased under the last president). It will require a radicalized congress and an aggressively pro-change executive to fix what ails us, to get us back on the difficult path toward economic and social justice. We must either accomplish a radical course correction or resign ourselves to further decline.

“Well, Doctor," Ben Franklin was asked outside Independence Hall on the final day of deliberations, "what have we got -- a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic," he replied, "if you can keep it.”

It's on us to keep it.

Extra credit:
>>Thirty years ago, the old deal that held US society together started to unwind, with social cohesion sacrificed to greed. Was it an inevitable process – or was it engineered by self-interested elites?: Decline and fall: how American society unravelled by George Packer (The Guardian)
>>Domestic and global trends suggest that in 2025, now just 8 years from now, the American century could all be over except for the shouting: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire by Alfred W. McCoy (Tom Dispatch)
>>Austerity is riskier than stimulus. The Big Question on the Economy: Is This Really Full Employment? by J.W. Mason (Roosevelt Institute)
>>What went wrong and what comes next?: Capitalism in Crisis by Mark Blyth (Foreign Affairs) >>Putting community needs at the center of society rather than those of the individual: An Economic Alternative to Exploitative Free Market Capitalism by Thomas Hedges (Truthdig)

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