As Speaker of the House in 1995-1999, it was Newt Gingrich who gets credit from economists and government analysts for weaponizing party politics. Still today, citizens suffer a Congress that passes legislation that says ‘party first, citizens second.’ PAC money has tripled since 2012. With narrow margins between elected republicans and democrats, little progress has been made that brings together the national horsepower that made the United States a dominant world leader through two world wars, the Korean Conflict and avoiding nuclear war during the cold war.
Since Bush 43 the United States has wallowed in inappropriate wars, growing racial issues in Dixie that are coming to bear today as red states weaken the meaning of voting; a rapidly growing chasm between extreme wealth and poverty, and – of extreme importance at the moment – unable to lead a troubled planet with the virtues it provided in the last century.
Climate and rapid advancement in automation have upset the applecart. Then throw in the pandemic. Frankly, Congress and the most recent Presidents have not stepped up to their responsibilities – especially on the world stage.
Trump was and is a symptom of unpreparedness on the part of the national psyche. Allowing the politicization of a legitimate global pandemic was a sign of unpreparedness fostered mainly by a self-interested Congress replete with a neurotic republican party. Allowing a forty-year abuse of wages also has contributed to confusion and mistrust by the citizenry. Biden’s nature is that of a pacifist when what is needed is a strong hand to right the ship that Donald still wants to sink.
The United States stands vulnerable, sensed by other large nations and consortiums. That China and Russia can impose themselves on South America; threaten a dozen small Pacific Rim nations and openly attempt to reorder the politics and power of the northern hemisphere is a sign that the United States is not the power player it used to be.
It is up to the electorate to vote for a useful government. God have mercy on us all.