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Donald Trump Is Just a Sign of the Much Deeper Failings of the United States — And the World

July 27, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

Something had to go terribly wrong to produce such a president and his tweet-stormed version of America.


There was a period in my later life when I used to say that, from the age of 20 to my late sixties, I was always 40 years old; I was, that is, an old young man and a young old one.  Tell that to my legs now.  Of course, there’s nothing faintly strange in such a development.  It’s the most ordinary experience in life: to face your own failing self, those muscles that no longer work the way they used to, those brain cells jumping ship with abandon and taking with them so many memories, so much knowledge you’d rather keep aboard.  If you’re of a certain age — I just turned 74 — you know exactly what I mean.

And that, as they say, is life.  In a sense, each of us might, sooner or later, be thought of as a kind of failed experiment that ends in the ultimate failure: death.

And in some ways, the same thing might be said of states and empires.  Sooner or later, there comes a moment in the history of the experiment when those muscles start to falter, those brain cells begin jumping ship, and in some fashion, spectacular or not, it all comes tumbling down.  And that, as they say (or should say), is history.  Human history, at least.

In a sense, it may hardly be more out of the ordinary to face a failing experiment in what, earlier in this century, top officials in Washington called “nation building” than in our individual lives.  In this case, the nation I’m thinking about, the one that seems in the process of being unbuilt, is my own.  You know, the one that its leaders — until Donald Trump hit the Oval Office — were in the habit of eternally praising as the most exceptionalthe most indispensable country on the planet, the global policeman, the last or sole superpower.  Essentially, it.  Who could forget that extravagant drumbeat of seemingly obligatory self-praise for what, admittedly, is still a country with wealth and …read more

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