Our nation is falling apart

We are falling apart, becoming the Disunited States of America.

(Credit: SYN Media)

I have never seen anything like it before. 

Red States, Blue States. Neighbor against neighbor. 

Once shared American values have evaporated, like steam from a kettle. Everything — from our history and national identity, to our reliance on capitalism — is in flux. Nothing seems fixed. We are losing what we were, but what will we become?

If we don’t believe in American exceptionalism, if we don’t believe in democracy, what will we believe in?

Liberal humanism? The welfare state?

Some people swear that participation trophies build emotionally happy children. Other parents see them as destructive of initiative and competition, and unrealistic in the outside world, where just showing up is rarely the ladder to advancement. Is there a compromise between those two points of view?

COVID-19 killed almost 600,000 Americans. It also killed our belief in free markets as the government poured trillions into the pockets of Americans with no idea at all of how it would be repaid.

Maybe it won’t. Can we keep kicking the can down the street . . . Forever?

Can we keep borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? What happens when Peter goes broke? When I say borrowing from Peter, I mean taxing him. 

Do we have enough millionaires and billionaires to keep us afloat? No cow gives milk forever.

Some Democrats make hay by telling people they won’t have to repay their student loans. Who doesn’t want to hear that — except maybe for the millions of people who did pay their student loans. Were they responsible people? Or were they suckers? 

The immediate paycheck relief handout — which was necessary to keep Americans from starving (and maybe from rioting, a real possibility although I have heard no mainstream people say that) — is now being followed by “investing” in infrastructure, that somehow has been expanded to include free pre-K, elder care, and two-year college education, and perhaps dog-walking services. That last one’s a joke — I think.

“Why not?,”  some people ask. Why not allow the government to provide a greater safety net? Critics say those freebies aren’t even necessities.

Well, how about the necessities?

Why not have the government pay for your groceries, your housing, your health care, your wardrobe? I have a friend who believes it should. (He is on the city payroll.)

Is socialism in our future? Might we be Karl Marx, or Groucho Marx?

The very notion of objective truth seems to have evaporated, replaced by the individual narratives of the aggrieved and the “marginalized.” (That’s a cliche word that needs to be retired.)

The Michael Brown “hands up’” narrative has proven to be a lie, but it persists. But truth denial is not just for minorities any more.

The majority of Republicans believe that the 2020 national election was stolen, when it was not.

It. Was. Not. Stolen.

If you believe that, absent any objective evidence, you are a stone moron. And a cancer on our civic body. Sorry to be harsh, but facts matter, even when they go against your cherished (insane) beliefs.

I’ve actually heard this: “The absence of evidence proves it was a conspiracy.”

At least the Tooth Fairy leaves money. This “rigged” belief is an empty vessel. If you think back, Donald J. Trump bleated and wailed that the last election was “rigged” — until he won. Then? Never mind, I never said it. Down Orwell’s Memory Hole.

On the other side we hear wild stories of “open season” on Black people, that there is an “epidemic” of police shootings of African-Americans, which actually have remained between 224 and 258 annually since 2015, according to the Washington Post database of police shootings. The number of white people killed by police ranges between 424 and 503. Twice as many white people are killed by police. I repeat, Twice as many white people are killed by police, but how many stories are written or broadcast about white victims? About zero, while just about every killing of an African-American goes national.

Yes, the number of whites killed is disproportionately low, but the numbers prove there is no “open season,” there is no “epidemic,” of Black people being killed by police. The number of Blacks killed by police in 2020 was 243, actually lower than the 251 killed in 2019.

The number of unarmed people killed by police is even lower, in the low double digits.

I have printed these figures before, to very little effect. The people who want to believe all cops are racist — even the Black cops — brush off the numbers like dandruff from their shoulders. They get some kind of sick joy out of their exaggerated victimhood. 

In addition to racially, we are split politically and geographically.

Politically, polls asking people to identify themselves by political party show Democrats/left-leaning independents, 49%, with only 40% Republican/right-leaning independents. The 9% gap is larger than in recent years, probably thanks to Donald J. Trump, who has driven moderates away.

Geographically, as you know, Democrats are strongest along the coasts, generally speaking, while Republicans are strongest in the middle of the country. Democrats have their greatest strength in the teeming cities; Republicans in the vast rural areas.

I think it’s amazing it has taken as long as it has for these fissures to have developed.

Think of how different are the British and the French, and they are only 20 miles apart. One nation rarely lost a battle and the other has more cheeses than days in the year. One is socially rigid, the other is, um, laissez faire. Why should we expect Louisiana Cajuns and Chicagoans to be alike? 

And they are not. 

Language has always been part of the national glue holding us together. And that is why accommodating non-English speakers hurts us, and them. English should be the official language of the United States. Not to exclude, but to include. How better to state your cases, and your grievances?

Our Judeo-Christian heritage, once the bedrock for many of our political and social beliefs, is crumbling, witness the rise of the repellent critical race theory that reduces to a few words — white is evil and almost anything Eurocentric is bad.

Then there was our national story, of a great people taming a great continent, a story of independence and individualism, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Today, a good number of us paint America as the land of the slavers and the home of the cowards. Some of that it true.

What is not is that the nation was born in 1619. That is a politically-manufactured historical lie, a racist twisting of history. The birthdate of this country remains July 4, 1776. Blame us for everything following that. Blame the ruling Brits for anything earlier.

I’m not sure these disparate views can be reconciled.

Joe Biden isn’t the only politician who says betting against America is always a bad bet.

I’ve said it myself, but I’m not so sure he’s right. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

The division he referenced was slavery. Are our divisions less destructive?

33 thoughts on “Our nation is falling apart”

  1. An excellent article. I really worry about the our divisions and uncivility in discussing the major issues of our times.

  2. A great article, Stu! I always thought of myself as a cosmopolitan. I spent years in NYC and moved to Philadelphia grudgingly as it seemed too slow for me at the time…

    Now, I find myself searching real estate sites for a home off the grid where I can shelter animals and perhaps run an dog friendly B&B. Don’t have a dog, maybe we can get you to adopt one of ours 🙂

    Of course, leaving the the USA is a consideration as I watch our country falling apart due to the ignorance and pusillanimous attitude of my fellow Americans. Or is it the main stream media who is corrupting freedom of thought and speech? At this point, I feel like leaving would be a cop out…if all bright forward thinking people leave our country, then we are certainly doomed…but push us much further, and I will find another place where I feel that my contributions, physical, intellectual, and financial will be put to better use.

    I am ready to explode, in case you can’t tell!

    Thank you, Stu, for your words of wisdom…and your sardonic sense of humor!! Ha!! Keep it up!!

    1. HAPPY FRIDAY !!!
      Candace,
      As I read your reply, I can’t help noticing the contradictions, therefore, maybe you’re just venting. Chester County is a good place for a B&B. In many cases, they go for auction, and it’s usually “lock, stock & barrel “. Given enough space, you can have your dog rescue. One thing yo won’t do, is have serious political debates with your guest. They come out this way for the quilts, etc and to admire the so called slower way of life for the Amish and Mennonite.
      good luck,
      Tony

    2. Thanks. Your dream is my daughter’s, a dog B&B. As you know, we have one rescue and that’s all we can handle, with Condo rules and my disability. I can’t walk my dog and I truly miss it.

  3. Shortly after the 2016 election I flew from deep red Mississippi to Toronto, helping my niece with her kids while she navigated an intensive phase of grad work. Only 10 days…..it felt like the USA we once knew

  4. I’m a independent moderate. I believe in common sense and logic, which is missing in America today. There is no sense of individual responsibilty, and the reliance on the goverment is in the forefront. Your article hits all the major issues facing the taxpayers today. Total democracy is chaos, and some sane politicians have to be elected to local, state and National positions. Not fools are who are influenced by social media and brainwashed leftist college morons.

    1. Jim, you forgot to mention fools who are brainwashed by right-wing lies, deception and misinformation.

      1. You’re a ignoramus. Democrat policy is destroying America. Republicans don’t get a pass as they sit on their hands.

        1. Rudy, you believe all of our problems are caused by the Democrats and you say I am an ignoramus? It is extremely narrow-minded people like you who cause ALL of the problems. Wake up and see the real world.

  5. Good morning Mr. Bykofsky,

    Wow. What a fantastic article. I reflected back twenty short years ago when our Country was attacked by terrorists. At that moment it felt like a flashback to pre-Viet Nam War times when every American was proud and always pulled together as one. I remember wondering shortly after 9/11 how long the newly-found unity would last. Not long at all as it turned out.

    This is really simple for me. If you love the United States of America as I do, this is the best Country in history in which to live. One piece of evidence is how many people attempt to permanently enter our country on a daily basis. Conversely, if you hate America as the uber-left seem to do, don’t let the door hit your ass. There are plenty of other “better” places to live.

    God bless you and God bless America. Thank you!

  6. HAPPY FRIDAY !!!
    pallie,
    There you go again rattling off fact after fact. Truth after truth.
    We, who have seen much, having actually lived a life, are not too surprised at these events. The Chinese Communist Philosophy is to slowly, ever so slowly pick you apart. Everyone here kept saying that there would be a revolution, when in fact, the opposite has been taken place since the 1960s. We are all aware of the conspiracies. The efforts of the chosen to pick away at our rights and our constitution. This is not happening by chance. This is a well thought out conspiracy. Call it what you will. Socialism, Marxism, Communism or any other ism. It is all anti Americanism !
    Back in the day, you believed in a political party’s philosophy. Basically, the republicans thought that money flows better down hill . Give business a chance to operate and the economy will be strong. The democrats always believed the opposite. Spread the money around to the people and let the economy take care of itself. Those days are gone. The new thought is gimme, gimme, gimme ! Greed, Graft and Corruption ! Take care of the few and let everyone else suffer the consequence.
    A lot of negatives for sure. I am still naivete enough to think that the American people will wake up and see the light. Like him or not. Donald Trump understood the American people and business. Unfortunately for us, he was all alone. An outsider going into D.C. just wasn’t going to change things. Proof. For the first two years, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan was against OUR President. Plus every dimocrat and RHNO out there. Basically again, he was going to take THEIR livelihood away from them. Those politicians forgot that that they were supposed to be there representing us !
    In spite of all of our problems. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Please honor our fallen. Never Forget that they gave up everything for us !
    Tony

  7. An eloquent portrayal of many of the weaknesses in our society but we have to place a great deal of the blame on the media who also never report the facts, the studies all in opposition to the theories they espoused. Their agenda has the “power of the press” behind it as the American public today is more gullible and ready to protest in person or in voting for assumptions that are invalid and without proof. I have seen recent studies that point to the feminization of the American male moving toward gender equality. When once men were self-assured, strong, and independent today they seek acceptance, affection, and show indecision and capitulation. The word No has been dropped from their vocabulary and in its place are the words agreement, settlement, and the right thing to do. Yell loud enough in protest regardless of the damage and you will be rewarded. Storm the courthouse to demand a jury find guilt and the jury out of fear will be intimidated and will respond accordingly. Observe a civil rights lawyer lead a protest march, bring in a race hustler for $30,000, and then confront a mostly white city council dripping in white guilt to settle without any real opposition in the millions. If this is the makeup of the cities then the smirk on the faces of China and Russia is noteworthy at the Pentagon.

  8. I found this in an email earlier this month. None of it is my words. It’s what we’re dealing with like your post, Stu.

    HOW LONG DO WE HAVE?
    This is the most interesting thing I’ve read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming.

    I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is interesting to see it in print. God help us, not that we deserve it.

    How Long Do We Have?

    About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the  University  of  Edinburgh  , had this to say about the fall of the  Athenian   Republic  some 2,000 years earlier:

    ‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.’

    ‘A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’

    ‘From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.’

    ‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years’

    ‘During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    1. from bondage to spiritual faith;

    2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

    3. from courage to liberty;

    4. from liberty to abundance;

    5. from abundance to complacency;

    6. from complacency to apathy;

    7. from apathy to dependence;

    8. from dependence back into bondage’

    Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law,  St. Paul ,   Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000  Presidential election:

    Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29

    Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000

    Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million

    Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1

    Professor Olson adds: ‘In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…’ Olson believes the  United States  is now somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.

    If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegal’s and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the   USA  in fewer than five years.

    If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message. If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

    WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,
    ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE
     

      1. STU,
        I love that I found your site. We know each other. I was a server at a successful steakhouse on Broad street from 2001-2003. It was a jaywalking fromm the Ritz Carlton. We would talk dirt on local ball players. Little man Ed Dougherty was the GM

  9. Excellent article. I pray for my grandchildren every night. What you have written is so true but according to many today you would be called racist. I agree with you, English should be learned and spoken. When immigrants came here earlier they had to assimilate today, that is not required. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles yet our government tries to pass laws based on other religious principles. The country has broken down morally and spiritually, all because the people in government went to get re-elected. The country has problems, but they can be fixed if the leadership starts to use common sense and do things for the good and not for a vote.

  10. What’s happening to the USA is either the result of a long-range plan by those damned sneaky leftists to destroy capitalism and bring in socialism, or just the normal (albeit accelerated) ageing of our democracy which will inevitably lead to a national collapse, with some other nation (China?) moving to the forefront. Think of all the countries that at one time or another led the world (Greece, Italy/Rome, Spain, France, etc.). Think about where those countries are now. Sic transit gloria mundi. I am so glad I am old, but sad for my children and grandchildren.

  11. You are 100% correct.The biggest mystery is how these wokes,anarchists,marxists and morons have gained so much control.Most people say they must stop brainwashing in the schools,flat out anti-white racist agendas,racist anti-white programs in business and government and hostility to our most important ally in the middle east,Isreal This is just the tip of the iceberg of problems cancel culture is causing.How does our government have politicians and officials who preach hatred for their own country and racism in public and get away with it?They are not only getting away with it but it gets worse every day.I think some of the reasons are: (1) People believe social media and news media lies without researching the truth.(2) Total lack of common sense,e.g. Men should play in woman sports because they are trans this is complete anti human BS. (3) Complete lack of caring (4) Cowardice,being afraid to speak up for your rights and confront the left wing dirtbags(5)
    Fear,of what I have no idea.(6) Stupidity,this may be the biggest reason of all.(7)Arrogance
    what makes you think you can block a highway,riot or loot stores and have a right to do that.The other form of arrogance is if you think you are better than anyone else and of course you are never wrong about anything. And Stu you really need to inform everyone about the worst brainwashing campaign since the Nazis.The 1619 project and Critical race theory that basically teach All white people are evil,if you are white to hate yourself and has spread from the universities to the schools K-12,Work Place and government.A full blog on this subject is needed badly.Most people have no idea what it is.And people can hate fox news all you want but they are the only ones reporting on this.You will not find it on CNN,MSNBC,Newspapers or local TV news anywhere.It needs to be exoposed.

  12. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu & readers,

    For readers wanting to understand what has happened, I recommend looking back to historian Arthur Schlesinger’s book, “The Disuniting of America” –originally published in the early 1990s. It’s a good place to start.

    See:
    https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Disuniting-of-America/

    From the publisher’s description:

    The classic image of the American nation — a melting pot in which differences of race, wealth, religion, and nationality are submerged in democracy — is being replaced by an orthodoxy that celebrates difference and abandons assimilation. While this upsurge in ethnic awareness has had many healthy consequences in a nation shamed by a history of prejudice, the cult of ethnicity, if pressed too far, threatens to fragment American society to a dangerous degree. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in history and adviser to the Kennedy and other administrations, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is uniquely positioned to wave the caution flag in the race to a politics of identity. Using a broader canvas in this updated and expanded edition, he examines the international dimension and the lessons of one polyglot country after another tearing itself apart or on the brink of doing so: among them the former Yugoslavia, Nigeria, even Canada. Closer to home, he finds troubling new evidence that multiculturalism gone awry here in the United States threatens to do the same. “One of the most devastating and articulate attacks on multiculturalism yet to appear.”—Wall Street Journal “A brilliant book . . . we owe Arthur Schlesinger a great debt of gratitude.”—C. Vann Woodward, New Republic
    —end quotation—

    A consequences of multiculturalism (and later identity politics) is to distract us from growing economic inequalities over decades –in order to debate racial and ethnic advantages and disadvantages. Apparently, there are vested economic interests which encourage or back up the shift. Officially, of course, we all still believe in equality before the law and equality of opportunity. But politics has, in fact, increasingly turned to favoritism toward supporting demographic groups and institutions. One can think of this as, effectively, dis-integrative politics. But the politicians refuse to do without the intensive loyalty of “the base.” There is a pretty obvious flaw in the primary election system –which gives undue weight to the extremes of opinion.

    I recall that at the time that Soviet Union fell apart, a Russian official made an announcement of sorts, in words to this effect: “We are going to do a terrible thing to you, take away your enemy.”

    The point is that the U.S. had long been united by foreign enemies in WWII and in the long ordeal of the Cold War. Just as the Soviet Union fell apart under the strain of the Cold War, we, too, are threatening to fall apart. Or to look at it in another way, the degree of centralization of power in the federal government and the presidency, long sustained during the Cold War, became much more doubtful, after the common enemy was gone. It was a great historical error not to reconstruct the country for civilian purposes after the end of the Cold War. The consequence has been that “the tail wags the dog” –we’ve gone looking for “dragons to slay.” But the perceived legitimacy of the vast establishment built up during the Cold War has constantly weakened.

    Not wanting to give up high levels of centralization of power, and the opportunities it provides to insiders, the establishment has gone looking for a new justification of itself; and the focus has fallen on the need to address inequalities among demographic groups –“identity politics.” It is supposed that we must have absolute justice and “equity” for all Identity groups –and immediately(!) But this is likely impossible and extremely divisive. One might view this idea as functioning as a “divide and conquer” of the neo-liberal elites –which raises resentments of each group against the supposed advantages of the others.

    Have a look at the extreme consequences for Portland OR:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaY2lHsZqBs

    The video, produced by a local TV news team out there runs about 12 Min.

    H.G. Callaway

  13. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Wetten and readers,

    Brexit is all fine and good so far as I’m concerned, it was their decision–and it surprised me. But don’t think for a moment that desire for advantage through globalization is dead in GB. That would underrate the degree of large-scale financialization and the power of the “City of London” and international investment in British politics.

    See:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DZqGk5FTgg

    Having lost some access to continental markets, the British are naturally looking for greener fields. Good. Maybe something of mutual benefit to them and us will develop out of it. But we should not allow them to dictate the terms –even in spite of the common perception of the Chinese economic and geo-political competition.

    Be wary of the game of “divide and conquer” directed against the American public. Knowing Europe generally, I would say that there is precious little respect from that direction for the integrity of the American republic. (That’s our problem! In Europe of course, “multiculturalism” is simply taken for granted. Europe is a collection of more or less ethnically defined countries.) For some or many, if they can drive up profit margins by playing one American group off another, then it will be done. We have to drive a hard, unified bargain in trade negotiations –that is exactly how the decline of globalization is shaping up. That doesn’t mean we can’t be “friends and allies.”

    Typically, there is first an attack from the left against perceived or possible opponents (domestic or international); and this is followed up by advantage for business interests. The British Labour party may not be much of a threat over there at present, but it somewhat like NYC and Buffalo. The first son inherits the family fortune and heads the business in NYC, and the second son is sent off to be a “big fish in a small pond”–in Buffalo. There are still big fish in the smaller pond of the British left. They’ll work together with people of power against any foreign interest. They have much more in common than the politics which divides them.

    Multiculturalism in the U.S. generally tends to serve foreign interests–at least by “disuniting” us. Our enemies and opponents will continually attempt to exploit our domestic differences and divisiveness.

    H.G. Callaway

  14. In the not too distant future, we will see calls from the left for confiscation/massive taxation of retirement accounts/ 401ks in order to fund some reparations scheme. Once they reach a California type of national one party invincibility, (This could be accomplished once they have a permanence of 55+ Senators) , all kinds of crazy unthinkable attacks on our culture will take place.

  15. At least from my perch in Canada, seems like those on the Right and Left can only see the faults of those on the other side. Not a lot of self-reflection happening. It is utterly mystifying to watch our great neighbour to the south come apart at the seams, at its own hand. Apparently it’s more important to be ‘right’ than to be reasonable, more satisfying to hate than to seek common ground. Politics in the US has degenerated into an endless turd-throwing exercise, with both parties equally eager to let loose and a media fanning the flames to its financial advantage.

    There are lots of types of corruption in this world. Stuffing your pockets with public cash is only the most obvious. Willfully eroding the foundations of your democracy by denying reality (currently favoured by Republicans) or pretending that the printing and giving away money creates wealth (de rigeur for Democrats these days) are both utterly corrupt practices.

    The only way this ends well is if citizens sit down, seek out those values they hold in common, work through their differences, and arrive at some sort of workable compromise (unlikely to fully satisfy anyone). That’s how families work, how successful communities work, and at the end of the day, how great democracies work. Politicians follow the people. You folks seem to have lost track of that. Those of us who care deeply for your country hope you can find your way back.

    1. HAPPY TUESDAY !!!
      David,
      A different perspective – from the outside looking in, is often the most clear.
      Tony

      1. Thanks Tony. Those of us on your northern border can sometimes be critics, but we do hold tremendous affection for our American cousins. While we need to attend to issues in our own country that are quite pressing, we wish only the best for you Yanks.

  16. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Foster & readers,

    I think you make the valid and important point that intensive partisanship often carries a very heavy price for the country. In comparison, you sketch a more reasonable position.

    Things are somewhat more settled between the U.S. and Canada because of recent re-negotiations of NAFTA.

    But no one should think that Canadians lack for distinctive economic interests in their relations to the U.S. In its political configuration, Canada is in many ways closer to the U.K. than it is to the U.S. –I’m thinking of its official multiculturalism and the dual official languages.

    I’ve also seen a lot of European-style politics coming out of Canada –more of the European-style left-right dichotomy than is traditional in the U.S.

    On the other hand, no country ever had a better neighbor than the U.S. has in Canada.

    H.G. Callaway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *