26.09.2023 Author: Veniamin Popov

Signs of the decline of the American political system

US Senator Mitt Romney. resignation

Recently, the American media reported that a biography of Senator Mitt Romney, who has just announced his resignation, is being prepared for publication. A New York Times columnist read an excerpt from the book and “was struck by the depth of the senator’s contempt and disdain for much of the Republican Party, including many of his colleagues in the Senate.” He condemned their vanity, their venality and cowardice: he reserved particularly harsh words for the many senators “who would do or say anything for political power and influence.”

The American media is increasingly writing about the United States as a country “with deep-rooted racial inequality.”

The hypocrisy of the political system is vividly demonstrated in the current tussle between the two major parties in the United States, the Republican and Democratic parties.

Democrats, fearing the growing popularity of former President Donald Trump, are making a variety of efforts to not just discredit him, but to force him to withdraw his candidacy from the 2024 election. Four criminal cases have been opened against Trump at once, which could see him jailed for between 500 and 700 years. Trump himself does not plead guilty and claims that all these cases are politically motivated, their purpose is to prevent him from running for office. On the day the former president was accused of inciting political instability, ratings agency Fitch downgraded US debt, citing “a steady deterioration in standards of governance over the last 20 years” and added that “repeated debt-limit political standoffs and last-minute resolutions have eroded confidence in fiscal management.”

Republicans responded by launching an investigation into the “financial machinations” of current President Joe Biden, accusing him of taking bribes. The Republican leader in the House of Representatives said they are determined to take the matter all the way to impeachment.

American journalists conclude that the 2024 presidential campaign promises to be the most contentious and divisive in American history because of deep-rooted discord.

Americans are increasingly alarmed by the unresolved issue of illegal immigration, the public is divided over banning abortion.

The richest country in the modern world has a huge problem with inequality and poverty. Consolidation of economic power leads inexorably to consolidation of political power. Between 1990 and 2021, the number of US billionaires grew from 66 to 745, and the amount of wealth in their hands increased from $240 billion to more than $5 trillion. The Economist calculates that concentration in the US economy is higher today than at any time in at least the past century: of the 900 sectors of the economy, the number of those in which the four largest companies have more than 2/3 market share has risen from 65 in 1997 to 97 in 2017, and the rate of new small companies emerging is at its lowest.

On September 15 this year, the Al Jazeera TV channel reported on how big pharmaceutical companies enriched themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic: Pfizer charged the US government $100 for a dose of vaccine that cost anywhere from $0.95 to $4 to produce.

As for Humira, a drug to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the manufacturing company raised its price by 470%.

The crisis phenomena in the economy are associated with the increase in the US public debt and budget deficit, which again puts the country in danger of default: recently the authorities reported that the national debt reached $33 trillion, while in June it was $32 trillion.

The New York Times on September 5 this year, in an article titled “Why So Many Americans Are So Down on Biden,” notes that despite attempts by the Democratic media to glorify the achievements of the US administration, half of the voters surveyed describe the state of the economy as bad: the price of a dozen eggs rose 38% between January 2022 and May 2023, white bread by 25%, gasoline by 63%.

All of this is taking place against a backdrop of worsening social problems in American society. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, firearm homicide rates in the US are 22 times greater than in the EU countries. (The Chinese claim it’s easier to buy guns than baby food in the US).

Deaths in the United States are also higher than the average for the European Union, with 622,000 deaths in the United States in 2019. The increase in drug overdose deaths is particularly worrying, with 107,000 deaths officially attributed to overdose in 2022.

The general situation of psychological tension also exposes other social plagues in America. Even a prominent Democratic Party supporter like Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman recently railed against “cruel and stupid decisions” that harm the national interest: the latest Census report on income and poverty showed that child mortality has more than doubled in the US between 2021 and 2022 – that’s 5.1 million children in poverty.

Krugman notes that this could have been prevented if the budget had allocated $105 billion (that’s less than 0.5% of US GDP) to help children.

Instead of helping children, who are America’s future, the US administration has allocated a much larger sum to arming Ukraine in order to further fuel conflict in Eastern Europe. Moreover, President Biden ordered that cluster bombs – weapons that are prohibited by international agreements – be provided to the Kiev regime. Discussions are currently under way to provide the Ukrainians with depleted uranium shells.

In this regard, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram wrote in August this year that “in the first 42 days of the war against Iraq in 1991, US forces dropped 88,000 tons of bombs and missiles on the country, or the equivalent of seven bombs of the size the US dropped on Hiroshima.” They also fired about 6,000 depleted uranium shells. The main recipients of this destructive force were civilian objects and everything related to the maintenance of human life and activity, technical facilities, oil wells, universities, colleges, hospitals, clinics, mosques, museums, antiquities, shopping centers, etc. More than 200,000 houses were destroyed, not to mention the Amiriyah shelter where hundreds of civilians, mostly women, children and old people were killed by two American “smart bombs.”

The inferiority of the US diplomatic establishment has been increasingly highlighted by the media of both Western and developing nations.

Taking bribes is a very common practice in the American establishment: in September this year, Richard Olson, former US ambassador to Pakistan and the UAE, was sentenced to a three-year probation and paid a fine of more than $93,000.

According to France-Presse, he was accused of helping the Qatari government influence US politicians after leaving the Department of State: some of the money he received was spent on his mistress.

Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya published a big article on September 2 this year titled “When US sensationalism passes for diplomacy” in which it says that the United States Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security, Amos Hochstein, during his mission to Lebanon, had fun in that country “wasting American taxpayers’ money” and “enjoying the Bekaa sun.” The author concludes that the American emissary’s mission was unsuccessful and “perhaps he should consider a career switch and try his luck in comedy, as jokes and sensationalism can never pass off as diplomacy.”

In this regard, the conclusion recently reached by the Foreign Affairs magazine is quite remarkable: the domestic consensus that long supported US action abroad has disintegrated in the face of growing partisan divisions and a deepening split between urban and rural Americans.


Veniamin Popov, Director of the “Center for Partnership of Civilizations” in MGIMO (U) MFA of Russia, Candidate of Historical Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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