America is being undone. It is coming apart at the seams slowly and painfully. From dysfunctional democracy, to political polarization, to deteriorating foreign relations, to growing constitutional violations, to rapidly growing debt and to inner strife, America is falling apart. The executive abuses of two consecutive presidents coupled with growing racial and ideological division have forced Americans to lose faith in their government and the American Dream. Americans themselves, with people around the world, have become increasingly anti-American, while countries like Russia have reemerged as geopolitical threats.
America is no longer the country it was.
The Constitution of the United States was designed to minimize the size of government and to limit the small government's reach and influence in the lives of Americans. Following September 11th, George W. Bush and Congress gave sweeping powers and legal authority to the Executive Branch, otherwise known as the White House. Since taking office, Barack Obama has put to use many of these new powers with very little interference from Congress or the Supreme Court. When Bush used his executive powers, Democrats cried foul. Today, Republicans are crying foul. If the next US president is a Republican, the GOP will probably stay silent as Democrats again cry foul. So the cycle will continue, with no resolution.
Under Bush, the world became more and more wary of US hegemony. Following 9/11, America's "war mongering" turned people around the world against America. This anti-Americanism carried on into the Obama era and evolved into damaged relations with Russia and Israel. Under Bush, these relationships remained strong, despite the anti-American sentiment spurred by his administration.
Under Obama, Russia has reemerged as a hostile foe. Just days after Christmas, the US-Russia relationship evolved further into hostility when Vladimir Putin signed a new military doctrine declaring NATO as the top military threat to Russia. Before all of this, Putin edged into Ukraine and exhibited a complete lack of respect for the Obama administration, knowing full well that the president would not act to stop him. Since Barack Obama took office, it has become increasingly evident that US-Russia relations would completely dissolve into another Cold War. By the time Obama leaves office, Russian relations will be close to irreparable. The next US president will have to restart relations from scratch to avoid further deterioration into True War.
Under Obama, relations with Israel have faltered. In early December, reports surfaced alleging that the Obama administration was considering imposing sanctions on Israel for its continued settlement expansions. Such sanctions would be unprecedented in the history of US-Israel relations. The report also alleged that the White House was attempting to sway Congress against imposing further sanctions on Iran and threatening a possible veto. Not only would these actions be unprecedented, they could be considered hostile.
With America's strongest ally in the Middle East weakened and with sanctions against Iran vetoed, the Middle East could become increasingly less stable, making it less likely that US interests and lives in the region could remain protected. With growing anti-American sentiment in the Middle East, adding Israel into the bubbling stew of resentment could be very damaging to the United States and its several allies in the region. Many allies in Europe and the Middle East rely on American strength for stability and security. Without the US, many allies would be in danger and under threat from the likes of Iran and Russia.
Since Obama has taken office, 53% of Americans believe race relations have gotten worse in America. For the first time since 1992, race riots broke out in the country following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Businesses were trashed and burned to the ground and police across America are now under threat from violent movements calling for their deaths. For the first time in decades, there is a severe rift between African American communities and law enforcement. Some have even suggested that America may be on the verge of a race war.
"For American society, a dangerous polarization has set in. Signs of this polarization over the years include opposite reactions between whites and blacks to verdicts in the OJ Simpson murder case, the rape charges against Duke University students, and trials resulting from the beating of Rodney King and the death of Trayvon Martin." – Thomas Sowell, Washington Times
Race relations have always been difficult in the United States, but because they have gotten worse under the Obama administration, it signifies that many wounds have gone unhealed – or that just when they were beginning to heal, they were torn back open. Much of this can be blamed on mainstream media. Much of it can also be blamed on a president who has weighed in and expressed vocal interest in race related issues, including the Trayvon Martin case and verdict.
If America continues on its current course, it won't last another 100 years. Much of the same that destroyed the Roman Empire is building up to create the same fate for America. Internal strife like that in Ferguson and against whites and law enforcement is similar to the various conflicts between rival political factions and classes within the Roman Empire. America's massive and growing debt mirrors the financial collapse of Rome, while America's deteriorating global reputation mirrors the conflicts that also faced the Romans. Due to political polarization and a series of leaders who served their own (or special) interests, Rome began to show weakness against the increasingly hostile Germanic tribes and Gauls. In America, it seems the interests of the people and the principles that made America successful have been abandoned in favor of political ideology, political power and special interests (including unions, environmental groups and corporations).
If the next president doesn't change America's trajectory, America will surely face the same fate as many other societies throughout history. The next president must heal racial wounds by evoking true equality, not special privileges and increased racial rhetoric. America's enemies must be neutralized, not strengthened. The ideological and divisive politics of the past two administrations needs to be forgotten, not emulated, if America is to survive beyond the next century.