We're now ten years on from my last posting, and some remarkable things have happened.
1. Openly socialist candidates are running for, and often winning, national offices.
2. There are people in Congress calling for changing or simply abandoning the Constitution.
3. Mainstream media is advocating for censorship in the guise of 'preventing disinformation.'
I'm not sure how we got this far down along the road towards abject tyranny, but we have. I wish this were isolated to certain areas or demographics, but it's not; a whole cross-section of the populace is now 'bleeting like sheep for safety, rather than howling like wolves for liberty.'
There are some things that seem to be driving this, although it's certainly not possible to narrow them down to any real specifics. In general, though:
1. It seems our colleges have become centers for advocating for socialism and collectivism, while failing to teach personal responsibility and accountability. A huge variety of fields of study have grown up to support this, with names that seem largely derived more from social justice gibber-think than scholarship.
2. There is, especially among young people, a view that government isn't an obstacle to freedom and happiness, but the means to attain them. Rather than a monster that must be kept tightly leashed, it's now the first alternative solution to any manner of (real or perceived) problems; and this in spite of it's demonstrated, repeated inability to even cope with the basic governmental duties of keeping the roads in shape and protecting people from criminals.
3. There seems to be a strong current in major media to support the Socialist agenda. Driven by concern for clicks and ad revenue, hyperbole and speculation have supplanted journalism and information gathering and distribution. Every event is 'catastrophic', every disagreement a fight to the death.
4. We now hear people refer to opponents as 'literally more dangerous than Hitler' and 'a danger to all life on the planet.' With rhetoric like that in play, the reasonable debate of different philosophical positions is no longer possible; rather than someone you disagree with, your opponent is now a James Bond villain. Cooperation or compromise becomes impossible, and both sides polarize harder toward the extremes.
The truly disturbing part of all this is I don't see a way to actually *fix* any of it. The media continues to drive much of the national narrative on various topics, and the two sides are more and more insulated in echo chambers that reinforce their own beliefs. On the other hand, when one side is attempting the overt, stated deconstruction of America, I'm not sure how that could be avoided.
I think it's possible-maybe probable- that America has finally outlived the Constitutional Republic that once made us gloriously successful. It's a form of government that requires a moral, virtuous population, and more and more, we simply don't seem to deserve it. I'm scared, though, of the form of government we DO deserve; because it seems like very shortly, we're going to get it.