America has ordered a cocktail and Trump is behind the bar. An election, a Supreme Court nomination, and a pandemic are being shaken, stirred, and poured at a time when roaming groups of armed men are an increasingly normal sight. The prospect is leading to increasingly dire predictions for the future of the US. A repeat of Bush’s 2000 victory, which came down to a Supreme Court decision, could be literally explosive today.
Edward Luce’s long read in the FT is a wonderful overview of the possibilities ahead. Please do read the whole thing. A passage I found interesting:
Pessimism about America’s future is in vogue, but while Luce is accurate about the short-term politics, I am cautious with simplistic accounts of American decline. Whatever America’s domestic problems, it is still far and away the world’s most powerful military and financial power. Its economic position has been eroding since WW2 but is still formidable. It borders no threatening states (unlike the Ottomans) and is technologically advanced. Declinists must square this with today’s turmoil.