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America's Struggle at Home

In the first year since the end of the Trump administration, the United States is still in the throes of a struggle to overcome decades of political corruption and social neglect. The outcome remains highly uncertain, and the outlook for the coming years is fraught with peril.

NEW YORK – Almost a year after Joe Biden’s narrow election victory over Donald Trump, the United States remains on a knife-edge. Many political outcomes are possible. These range from the gradual economic and political reform that Biden is seeking to the subversion of elections and constitutional rule that Trump attempted last January – and that he and the Republican Party are still intent on pursuing.

It’s not easy to diagnose exactly what ails America at its core so deeply that it incited the Trump movement. Is it the ceaseless culture wars that divide America by race, religion, and ideology? Is it the increase in inequality of wealth and power to unprecedented levels? Is it America’s diminishing global power, with the rise of China and the repeated disasters of US-led wars of choice leading to national agony, frustration, and confusion?

All of these factors are at play in America’s tumultuous politics. Yet in my view, the deepest crisis is political – the failure of America’s political institutions to “promote the general Welfare,” as the US Constitution promises. Over the past four decades, America’s politics have become an insider’s game to favor the super-rich and corporate lobbies at the expense of the overwhelming majority of citizens.