In yet another bit of proof that the world views the United States as an embarrassment under Donald Trump’s watch, a major Australian newspaper has declared: “We are witnessing the fall of a great power.”
The international community, which Trump has repeatedly claimed is somehow impressed with how our nation is handling the pandemic, is in reality horrified by what they are watching unfold here as the death toll rockets past 170,000 with over 5 million cases and new cases setting records day after day.
That only threatens to get worse as Trump insists on forcing children back to school, thus creating a new breeding ground for the virus to exploit.
Combine that with the social unrest across the country and Trump’s flouting of democratic norms and the rule of law, and it’s no wonder The Canberra Times columnist Crispin Hull wrote that the great superpower our country used to be is going down.
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“Look at the U.S. now,” Hull wrote. “Its president is so psychiatrically disordered with narcissism that he is incapable of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in a coherent, empathetic way. Everything he says and does is through a prism of himself. He has now turned his whole re-election campaign into one of race hate, law and order and a bizarre invention of a threat from ‘left-wing fascists.’”
“The underlying weakness in present U.S. democracy is that partisanship has become so extreme that the nation is incapable of dealing with the major issues that face it,” Hull continued. “COVID-19 has illustrated that starkly, with every word and act predicated on party allegiance. Meanwhile, other problems like race, police violence, gun control, inequality, the health system, climate change, and energy policy go unattended.”
Indeed, Trump turned wearing a mask into a culture war, which has only caused the further spread of a virus that could have been handled had Trump listened to health experts and taken them seriously. Instead, he has chosen to ignore the pandemic because he thinks doing so will get him re-elected.
And while that’s a major part of why Hull believes our nation is falling, it’s not the only one, nor is it the only one that involves Trump directly.
“[Trump] has appointed incompetent ignorant toadies to the most senior positions in his cabinet and the bureaucracy,” Hull wrote. “He has undermined the Supreme Court with appointments based on politics, not law…The system has become so warped that those disenfranchised, disempowered, and disenchanted are taking to the streets, questioning the legitimacy of the whole system. The only question is whether the taking to the streets can break these vicious circles, or whether it is just another step in the decline and fall of a great power.”
Even if Joe Biden beats Trump in November, Trump could continue violating norms by refusing to leave office and it will still take many years to clean up the mess he made once he is gone.
So, is the United States set to become a failed state? If so, Trump and his Republican enablers are to blame. And it will be up to voters to make sure only responsible people are elected to high office from now on.
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