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The American Crack-Up


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UnHeard

*The nation remains blinded by a veil of madness
David Samuels

Jan. 20 2024

Today’s American crack-up springs from similar sources. Imagine a time-traveller from any decade in recent memory arriving in America in January 2024: they would encounter a country that would appear to have gone nuts. Millions of migrants stream illegally into the US at the highest rates in history, while the government in Washington prohibits border states from enforcing Federal law. Meanwhile, major cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are routinely paralysed by angry demonstrators whose causes change from month to month (this month’s cause is “intifada”). Questions like “should doctors perform surgery on children to change their gender?” and “is it ok for the President of Harvard to routinely plagiarise the work of other authors?” are now seriously debated by reputable media outlets.

(Snip)

A sane, constructive political class would have recognised the dangers posed by the emerging oligarchy, and increasingly insane public discourse, and worked to build bridges between the two Americas and help create the basis for a healthier society. Instead, Barack Obama, like Bill Clinton before him, saw an opportunity to rubbish Republicans by making Democrats the party of the rich in the name of the poor. The policy of aligning the Democrats with the wealthiest Americans, while taking from the middle class and rewarding the poor with symbolic identity politics victories, was Obama’s creation — hardly a surprising coinage from a BLM-promoting Harvard Law School graduate who once told an intimate that the two things he wanted, as he left the White House, were a private jet and a valet. Obama’s continuing influence as a tone-setter for the Democratic Party, and within the Biden administration itself, should not be underestimated; there’s a reason why he became the first (healthy) former US President since George Washington who refused to retire to his farm (or the equivalent), instead keeping a large mansion in the heart of Washington.

Obama’s central position in the Democratic Party is both practical and symbolic: in his person, he represents both the elite institutions such as Harvard Law School and the large American foundations and billionaire funders who backed his political rise in Chicago. Obama represents the new American elite, which is composed of the people who populate the types of institutions that produced and backed him, and which is the main instrument of oligarchical rule.

What members of the new American elite share is a sense of placelessness, which is also embodied by Obama, a fatherless child who grew up in Indonesia and then in Hawaii, after being sent to live with his grandparents by his mother. Where former US elites represented the upper tip of multiple local pyramids of influence and wealth (see Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was born and died on the same patch of land in the Texas Hill Country), the new American elite is the product a small set of homogenous institutions which are all sponsored or owned by billionaires. The result is a class of shallowly educated people — of whatever race, gender or sexual preferences — with a set of uniform values imposed by self-infatuated academics and diversity gatekeepers which are of very little help in sensibly administering a continent-sized republic, which was not designed to be run by a national elite in the first place.

(Snip)

As we enter another election year, what threatens America’s future prosperity and fading democracy the most is neither Trump nor his enemies. Rather, it is the thickening linkage between America’s incapable elites and a fearful oligarchy that owns the key communications platforms and pipelines that are the source of the country’s largest fortunes, and which provide the context in which large numbers of Americans live their lives and understand reality.

The cure for today’s American Crack-Up is to defuse the affair between our bureaucratic elites and a Big Tech oligarchy that is mediated by the diversity barons of the Democratic Party. The way to do that is to remove the legal protections that have allowed for Big Tech’s monopolies, and which killed off the independent American press, and then to curb the power of national elites by letting individual states make and enforce their own laws, as the US Constitution intended. Once the causes of the country’s current madness are removed, Americans may be able to see their own virtues and weaknesses plainly — and start acting like grown-ups again.

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* Not Everyone Is Blind. Large Numbers are Awake!

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