Posted on: February 25, 2020 Posted by: Felicia S. C. Gooden Comments: 0
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The end of America as a beacon of enlightenment and democracy comes not from its politicians but from the citizenry.

America is on the verge of collapse, and as with all empires, it is due to its own decadence. The United States is unique in that the fall of the great American age will not come from the neglect and corruption of its government but rather the ignorance, folly, and division of the American body politic.

The Vietnam war was a catastrophe not because of the abrasive naiveté of Lyndon Johnson or the corruption of Richard Nixon but rather the exploitation of American division. North Vietnam paid close attention to the anti-war protests that swept through the United States, and Hanoi exploited that division by orchestrating military campaigns and publicity stunts that journalists could not resist and pulled the heart strings of Americans. The result was an enraged college aged American public that spearheaded protests across the nation, with one leading to the death of a student on a college campus. Ultimately, American support of intervention in Vietnam waned to the point where Presidents Johnson and Nixon had to execute exit strategies.

Sun Tzu stated in The Art of War that The Moral Law requires citizens to be in complete alignment with their ruler so that they will fearlessly follow him or her to the death. Just as Vietnam became a geopolitical catastrophe and essential loss for America due to American division, so too is the end of America as a shining city upon a hill unfolding before the world due to cultural and political divisiveness.

The division between Democrats and Republicans over COVID-19 response measures has proven to be another nail in the coffin. According to a Pew Research poll, 85 percent of Democrat voters view COVID-19 as a major threat to public health while Republicans are virtually split with 46 percent saying COVID-19 is a major threat to public health and 45 percent saying it is a minor threat to public health. This basic split, albeit partisan, has encouraged politicians to pander to these views in either direction rather than come to a consensus on public health policy, from wearing masks to how to reopen schools and businesses.

Conspiracy theories run rampant such as the now banned and debunked documentary Plandemic. Red states that ignored the seriousness of the threat, such as Florida, are clocking record numbers of cases and deaths while Blue states that initially saw devastating numbers but took the pandemic seriously, such as New York, are entering phases 3 and 4 of reopening. The inconsistency in results across the country has created waves of partisan attacks leveraged to garner support during a contentious election year. However, countries such as Sweden and New Zealand have brought their COVID-19 numbers to near zero, are sending their children back to school, and have collective unity with strong political leadership to thank for it.

This year’s presidential election is one of the most important elections in American history. What is unfortunate is that it does not matter which contender wins, as the consciousness of the American citizenry is so deeply split, with both parties exacerbating the division for political points, that it is safe to say there is no candidate on the ballot who can successfully unite the nation. Furthermore, when one contemplates the cognitive war being waged on the American public by Russia through election interference, one can conclude based on the results of 2016, the last three and a half years of chaos and turmoil, and the hopelessness of the 2020 race that America lost the war before it began.

The only way America can bring itself out of the abyss is to shift the consciousness of the American public. Reemphasize the importance of thorough education and critical thinking. Revamp the education system to be one of quality learning as well as skills and talent development rather than pushing curricula designed to meet standardized test benchmarks. Hold the media accountable for its participation in chasing sensationalism over truth and set frameworks for measuring accountability. Hold the private sector accountable for its role in global governance and national security as global markets become the new battleground for China’s economic warfare strategies.

There is one caveat. While transforming the consciousness of the youth to build a better future for America seems possible, there are multiple generations of Americans filled with old school mindsets and worldviews that continue to perpetuate the hate, division, racism, sexism, homophobia, and government and media distrust that fuel the division of today. These are not new developments but rather cultural benchmarks that have been entrenched in the American psyche since the founding of the country. These vices have only been magnified in the worst of ways, and for any one person or political party to claim he, she, or it can single-handedly fix America and restore what was already a sham of an ideal is disingenuous at best. No one can force someone who has reached middle age or old age to be someone he or she is not. As they saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

The world is now at a place where more countries are exercising their right to self-determination and working with likeminded cultures and governments to develop their own autonomy, defense, and economic prowess. The age of American hegemony and leadership is over, and, unfortunately, the soul of America cannot be saved as is. With all things considered, it should not be either. It is time for a full rebirth of the spirit. A new America must come to the fore, but it will take a united and cooperative effort to achieve.

Good luck with that.

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