19.05.2023 Author: Veniamin Popov

USA: Increasingly polarized

USA: Increasingly polarized

The decline of civic life in the US is primarily down to the de-facto absence of the freedom of press. This freedom is only proclaimed in words, but in reality, a single point of view is imposed on everyone. This has furthermore exacerbated the divisions in American society.

The highly acclaimed primetime TV host, Tucker Carlson, who was recently fired, alleged that the American media is prohibited from discussing important topics that affect the future of the United States and the whole world: “The undeniably big topics, the ones that will define our future, get virtually no discussion at all: war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources.”

The reporter has repeatedly criticized the conduct of American officials; for instance, he spoke about the consequences for the United States of the conflict in Ukraine and also affirmed the allegations Russia made regarding the terrorist attack on Nord Stream, claiming “it is the West’s biggest lie.”

Faisal J. Abbas, editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper Arab News, emphasized that the biggest threat facing the United States today is polarization – the media has been used by politicians to cultivate their own audiences and create ideology: politicians only think from one election cycle to the next, so they take ideological positions that are not really essential to the daily life of the average American citizen. Issues such as gender identity and abortion are central to public discourse; on the other hand, issues affecting the daily lives of ordinary Americans, such as deteriorating living standards, increasing homelessness, unaffordable rents, and college education, are not being addressed.

Virtually no one talks about the real problems faced by the average American; their attention is focused on secondary issues that benefit politicians. Meanwhile, domestic social, ethnic and racial contradictions in the US are becoming more and more acute. A global financial “storm” in the event of a default on US government debt payments is not out of the question. The US Treasury Secretary spoke about this possibility just recently. A banking crisis also looms on the horizon.

The New York Times in March 2023 published an article about the serious danger of a “national divorce.”

This topic began to be more often raised in the American press in connection with the actual beginning of the presidential campaign of 2024 – as you know, the current President Joe Biden announced it at the end of April.

In response, the Republican Party released their video, created using “AI-generated imagery”: a realistic-looking news summary announcing Biden’s victory in 2024, followed by a long list of hypothetical disasters – Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the collapse of financial markets, immigrants taking over the southern border and the closure of San Francisco due to escalating crime.

One American newspaper called the conflict between Biden and Trump not so much a confrontation between Democrats and Republicans as a confrontation of essentially moral and immoral worldviews, a rivalry between decency and its opposite.

Much has been said in this regard about how the unregulated deployment of artificial intelligence can create social chaos – people wonder what will happen when a non-human intelligence becomes better than the average person at telling stories, composing melodies, drawing pictures, writing laws, scriptures. And yet all this can be used to propagate fake news and form new cults.

At the same time, the Democratic Party does not hide the fact that they see the danger of the current moment in the likelihood of Trump becoming a nominee in the 2024 elections – and all means are good here.

Driven by immediate interests, they are organizing a lawsuit against the former president, trying not only to discredit him, but also to block his way to participate in the upcoming elections. The fact that the former president of the United States is about to be indicted in a criminal court sets a dangerous precedent – there is no guarantee that another American president won’t also be arrested after leaving his official office.

Republicans, for their part, are intensifying investigations into Hunter Biden, the President’s son: he is being charged with providing false information when purchasing weapons, withholding treatment for drug addiction. Tax evasion in transactions abroad became the main point of the charges, with Republicans wanting to go after Biden’s entire family as well.

In this regard, the well-known columnist Nicholas Christophe mentions a bunch of closely intertwined problems that hold the country back: childhood trauma, drug addiction, mental health problems, homelessness, loneliness, family breakdown, unemployment. More than a quarter of a million Americans die each year from drugs, alcohol and suicide.

“To alleviate our chronic pain,” Christoph writes, “we must do a better job of healing deeper wounds in our economy and society.”

In this regard, it is not surprising that an Arab newspaper compared the situation in America to the current civil strife in Israel, where society is divided into roughly the same two halves. The same newspaper also spoke about the possibility of an openly fascist regime in Israel.

The famous American philosopher Noam Chomsky said in an interview with Al Jazeera on 09.04.23: “The United States is increasingly collapsing like Israel.”

According to a recent poll, more than 50% of Americans now expect a new civil war “in the next couple of years,” with several predictions about the end of America.

In one, in the event that Trump, or any other Republican, occupies the White House, Californians take serious steps toward secession from the United States.

The other scenario, which is being seriously discussed, says that if the Democratic Party wins, including a second term for Biden, the reds, i.e., Republican states, begin a movement for independence.

Meanwhile, a December 12, 2022 article on the Saudi Arabian television station Al Arabiya’s website, as if to summarize the many musings of American political scientists, argues under the title “How America Will Divorce Itself” that a divorce agreement could take the following form: California, parts of Oregon, Washington and Nevada agree to become the new federal system.

But the greatest threat to America’s very existence is the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Bloomberg, reviewing the book “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay” by Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez on May 7, noted that the widening gap between the rich and the poor could lead to a revolution.

Veniamin Popov, Director of the Center for the Partnership of Civilizations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Candidate of Historical Sciences, exclusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook”.

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