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Can the USA survive this level of stupid, sustained for this long?

Let's say that Biden is elected and, by some miracle, Trump simply gets out of the way and allows the legal process to go forth. What then? Can the USA actually pull itself together? I keep seeing headlines and comments that make me think we have no chance. What concerns me most is not Trump or a legislator or other bad actor at a high level on the Trump side. What concerns me most is:

  • The millions (or dozens of millions) of Americans who apparently think that it has been worth debating whether Trump has been doing a decent job.
  • In a different way, the many Progressive Elites who, on the opposite side, think that it's ok to just kick back and think they have nothing to learn or listen to.
  • The myriad other matters that we in the US seem to have difficulty with every day, including some pretty darned easy ones, such as cooperating, as a team effort, in some public situations, by wearing masks. Goodness, mask-wearing requirements, both from the government and private enterprises, are not a fascist plot, they're a rational response to a pandemic that has killed a lot of people.

Well, I haven't articulated it well, but goodness, in the near-term, what is there to say? There is not much to debate as to who thinking people should vote for in the upcoming contest... even if Biden were an extreme socialist of the type that many would consider unacceptable , or even if he is in some way a garden variety corrupt politician, he is the obvious choice as against a mass-killer and Constitution-despiser like Trump.

Anyway, perhaps the answer is "yes" and the USA can survive. Perhaps by getting so much of the stupid out of our systems and having these low level discussions we will somehow be more able to reach for a higher ideal when the time comes. However, it also seems possible to me that the answer may turn out to be "no".

Can the USA survive this level of stupid?

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kmaz 7 Oct 17
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Another way I look at all of this is that many American voters have shown their true colors.

  • Some of them have supported the evil that is going on as they are more or less Libertarian or Republican idealogues with ideas in mind about individual liberties, freedom, free markets, business-mindedness, property rights, limited government with both financial and legal restraints, and so-on. To actually believe they are supporting these things, in supporting the Republicans in Congress, or in supporting Trump, they must really be intellectually bankrupt, but this seems to be roughly what some of them believe.
  • Some of them are Christians and believe that in supporting Trump they are supporting the logical choice.
  • I"m not sure of many of them. Perhaps they actually just flat-out want the death and destruction of the Constitution that Trump is fighting for.

In any event, with so many such thinkers, I'm not quite sure how the country can survive even if a sane intelligent decent person momentarily at the helm. Then again, maybe Democracy allows readily for such levels of thinking as long as there is better leadership. I do think part of this is the impact of decades and centuries of botched philosophy, both secular and theistic.

kmaz Level 7 Oct 18, 2020
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You mean like this.

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The USA has gone through many trials and tribulations and has always survived...

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As a Brit I fervently hope that it’s possible for your country to return to some form of rational government..and what I can only describe as a return to sanity, as soon as possible. This election and the defeat of Trump at the polls in a few weeks is by no means a foregone conclusion, something I’m at a loss to understand. How can there roughly be half the electorate still firm in their support for this clearly clinically insane man? How can they actually believe that he’s doing a great job? Do they all live in a parallel universe where they live in a reality show with Trump as host, rather than real life? I call it the Disneyfication of America, because he has managed to turn the US Government into something on a par with an international entertainment corporation with the White House as its HQ.

My analysis is that if DT is returned there will be civil war of some sort, because I cannot see another four years of this utterly disfunctional administration being accepted by a sizeable minority. If Biden wins, as I hope, there will be trouble from the Trump side as they have already laid the ground work for denial of transferral of power. Even if the new Democratic administration gets no hindrance it will be an uphill struggle to restore equilibrium in the country because it has become so deliberately polarised under Trump. I think it will be quite some years, possibly decades, before the damage already done can be pulled back, not just at home but with the USA’s traditional allies. What is needed is leadership which promotes consensus between the parties, at the moment I can’t see any politician with the vision to do so.

Thanks for your input. Again, personally, I think getting even just an attempt at a rational view from outside the US, as we go through this awfulness (such as the efforts, which are going on as I write, to take over my government, in broad daylight, by sabotaging the voting system)....can be really a welcome thing.

A few thoughts:

  • The "stupid" I am referring to extends pretty far in my view. It is not just that of Trump or any group, nor does it just apply to any one issue, but I am asking if we can survive our aggregated stupid, that we hundreds of millions of US citizens have been evidencing so gratuitously in so many ways and votes and conversations, over the last four years, and earlier. We used to hear the word "democracy" a lot more than we do now, but if it can be said that there is at least an element of "grand democratic experiment" to the U.S. of A., then isn't there a clear defining element within that concept of elected officials and their actions and statements expressing the "will of the people" or, to parse it better, the inclinations of some of the people while at the same time, for those who don't agree, they do agree that they've had their say, and they agree to abide by the laws. This is not to be naive about the US voting system as it presently stands, I just want to bookmark that point that if the US is supposed to be some sort of "democracy", then let's acknowledge that when the fox gets let into the henhouse by some of the folks in a democracy, there's still the need for us to pull together and think and take better action, and take some responsibility for fixing and addressing what has happened.

  • To take one example: I am reading headlines of the moment which talk about Trump arguably playing a part in encouraging a terrorist plot against a US governor. In a country of thoughtful voters, Trump would, for this and various other reasons, be out of a job and in prison. Yet, I seem to hear crickets from too many quarters on this point.

  • I think the problem is not philosophy of government or political debate and principles, but something deeper. Another example of the stupid that is a bit closer to home is that after 20-30-40 years of seeing politicians cash in on that portion of American Stupid which has to do with religion and belief in God and any other manner of Supernatural bs, whenever I have seen that, and it has been a lot, I have had to think to myself "there has to be some sort of price we are going to have to pay, for this much bad thinking, and this many important decisions based on it". So, I think, here we are.

  • With that said, I think it's not so much the theistic religions/philosophies which have ruined things, but that they have been out there failing us while we have failed to turn to something better.

  • So, I see this as a US intellectual/philosophic/moral bankruptcy. I just hope that:

  • we are able to pull our act together in our bankruptcy court and elect the non-insane executor of the situation for four years.

  • that he and his running mate use the bullypulpit of the Presidency (arguably/informally its most important power) to help us get our heads in a much better place.

  • In the meantime, I am concerned that the economic situation is shaping up, for many, to be dire, and that this situation, in combination with the almost laughably sadistically bad leadership over the last four years, and the ongoing pandemic, will result in a situation that we can't come back from.

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It will take most of the 21st century to undo all the damage that Trumplerism has done to US foreign relations

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Yeah, the US will survive. Things will suck for a while, and then they'll get better. The pendulum swings - we go through cycles like this now and then, but we seem to come out of them slightly better each time.

"....we go through cycles like this now and then...."

I don't think so. I can't remember the last time a President, in broad daylight, openly sought to take over the entire government by trying to cripple the entire voting system. I can't remember the last time a couple hundred thousand extra Americans died at the hands of such casual Presidential malfeasance (pandemic malfeasance in this case).

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I think the election of Donald Trump was a clear indicator of things going wrong in the USA. I don't think they will be undone by electing someone else as the damages preceded Trump. I am not convinced that solution will be entirely political.

I must admit that I am not American 😅 so I am just farting around

@Spongebob

In this particular thread, I think it's clearly in place and appropriate to get a fresh perspective from outside the US. As it happens, your point of view is somewhat close to my own.

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Who knows, the crystal balls exploded last December.

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It's all speculation.

I chose "Yes." As a lifelong Democrat, I have hope for the future.

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