the American social contract is broken. A social contract is unlike a legal contract in one important way. It can be ripped up. In what way is the American social contract broken? In the truest way of all: Americans do not expect — or get — minimally good lives anymore. Their life expectancy, income, savings, and so on, down to nearly every last indicator of well being, are all falling.
The American social contract was called the American Dream. The ideal is still espoused ion families, communities, schools and in media, but doean;t truly exist as it once had. it’s a shadow of it’s former self being unable to keep up with the standard of living for the masses.
However, the American dream is intact for two groups: The ultra-wealthy and the poorest immigrants. The ultra-wealthy’s riches continue continue to grow because they finance candidates who are then beholden to fulfill their ulterior campaign promises to their rich patrons. It’s a never ending cycle and how can we expect real reform when we are asking our representatives to cut off their own revenue stream? The contemporary political landscape favors them and it won’t change without a revolution.
Bad leaders are an effect before they are a cause — an effect of people who are ready to self-destruct. They don’t arise in a vacuum.
It is true that Trump isn’t the source of our discontent. He didn’t invent the alt-right. He too is an “effect,” a cause of propaganda spread to a demographic of people in this country that are angry, fearful, and either willfully or legitimately ignorant of casting their vote for such a radical candidate would do in spite of all the signs that he was going to be a bad leader while still campaigning in the Republican Primaries.
The political right, like the left counterpart, was tired of the partisan politics and Bernie Sanders was their anti-establishment candidate. Had the DNC not gaslighted him, we may be having some very different discussions today, but I do believe there would’ve been better discussions since Bernie elevated conversations, where as Trump takes them to the gutter. In any case Bernie would also been a radical progressive moving in the other direction.
If Hilary was elected, it may have still caused as much national acrimony as we see with Donald. She would’ve been no Caesar, but her presidency likely would’ve deepened the discontent we have with US politics. I hate to say it this way, but perhaps Trump is exactly what we needed for this country. It’s not his policies we need, it’s in spite of them, that will give us the “kick in the ass” we needed to take back control and revitalize our democracy.
The old concept of American Dream is like a drug. Because of their addiction, drug addicts continue to make decision until they are faced with the hard decision: continue down a path of self-destruction or take control and alter your values for the better. Collectively, Americans also need to hit our rock-bottom before we can truly recover. Trump is that low point in our history and we will all come to regret it. Question is: What will we do about?