Culture, Politics

An European’s Insights Into 21st Century America

Every July 4th sees a flurry of think pieces that reflect on what it means to be American, and this year is no different. Some will focus on the founding of the USA (and the principles that the country was built on) in a celebratory manner, others will choose to highlight its darker aspects, with still many more pieces falling somewhere in between these two poles. The difference in their respective approaches will overlap with their partisan politics. They all share a common theme, though: something has gone horribly wrong with the USA, and that this is reflected in its increasingly divisive political culture. My contention is that this recognition of the catastrophic conditions of the present political climate is ironically what most brings together Americans today. The diagnosis of what is causing this malady will depend on who is being asked the question (and the answers will vary wildly), but the overwhelming majority are in agreement when it comes to the big picture.

With this is mind I want to turn to an essay that was written last month by Damir Marusic, a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, an “NGO” that is very hawkish and seeks to extend US hegemony globally, as my readers will already know rather well thanks to the amount of attention I have given them since starting this Substack. Damir is a fellow ethnic Croat who it seems identifies as an American, so his trajectory is one that I am closely watching just to see how it develops. In this essay, Marusic rejects the notion that the right in the USA has a democracy deficit, and instead argues that there is a growing crisis of legitimacy in the system as a whole, leading to what centrists and liberals view as growing support for authoritarianism on the right side of the political aisle. Read more…

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