The collapse of any state or civilization begins not with a political crisis or the destruction of the economy, but with social problems that initially manifest themselves in the minds of citizens. They gradually lose faith both in each other and in the state that used to consolidate them into a single nation. The U.S., which is not going through the easiest of times in terms of international standing and domestic finances, has not become an exception within this rule. The formerly unified space is essentially split by culture wars into two countries – liberal and conservative – and both camps have less and less confidence in the government in Washington, which they see as alien to their ideas and aspirations, even if it is formally elected from “their” party. Thus, on the eve of Independence Day on July 4, Gallup pollsters surveyed Americans and were horrified by the results. Only 31% of Americans now trust the U.S. government. In 2020 there were 46%, and in 2006 – 56%. But in recent years, against the backdrop of America’s division, trust in all institutions has plummeted. Moreover, two-thirds of Americans believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, and 72% believe that the United States is in a state of moral and economic decline. The share of those who disbelieve in American exceptionalism has also increased sharply, with the majority calling the U.S. a country no better than any other, and a quarter of the population considering other countries better than the United States.
Every July 4, America’s culture wars around its history erupt. A big scandal was caused by the statements of former head of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, that the U.S. Declaration of Independence, was based on a lie, because it spoke of the equality of all people, but implied only white people. A similar position is taken by the rising star of liberal politics Cori Bush, who considered the July 4 a holiday only for white people who took over the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of America. And the Nation, the mouthpiece of American liberals, called July 4 a celebration of American imperialism, which is based on the idea of white supremacy. This year, America met the July 4 in a routine manner with a wave of rioting in major cities. Thirty people were shot in Chicago, four people were shot and two children were wounded in Philadelphia. No wonder more and more Americans see themselves as a nation in decline amid the rapid rise of other civilizations, especially in East Asia.
The thesis that Americans have lost faith in their institutions is increasingly confirmed. The last 4 years have been very difficult for the U.S. political system: BLM riots, the COVID-19 pandemic, contested election results due to fraud, racial-gender culture wars and, as a result, the country’s growing division. Trust in all government institutions falls almost regularly from year to year. Most Americans are still willing to trust small businesses and the military, but attitudes toward them are deteriorating rapidly as well. As for all other institutions, the situation is quite sad. Only 8% of Americans trust Congress. 17% of the population have a positive attitude to the law enforcement system and 26% keep faith in the institution of presidency. The mainstream media are trusted by less than 20% of Americans, which is not surprising, because they constantly lie and primitively work out the orders of the political forces behind them. After the Supreme Court’s high-profile decisions on abortion and affirmative action, the level of trust in the court has also plummeted to 27%. The medical system, after two quarantined years, is trusted by only a third of the population. Liberalization of the law enforcement system and the inability to cope with the avalanche of crime has also led to discrediting the police. The overall level of trust in all institutions reached a record low of 26% in the 45-year history of counting. If in the past the political system held the United States together, now it only intensifies conflicts in society. Americans themselves have already lost confidence in the workability of their model of social development. This not only threatens to undermine the U.S. position in the world, but also does not bode well for the future of the country.
The reasons for such a shift in public perception are well demonstrated by certain excesses that occur in certain spheres. And it is enough to consider only some cases that have occurred in the last couple of months. For example, big business has lost the trust of Americans because it obediently serves the interests of its political patrons in exchange for favorable government orders and support. Democrat Mark Zuckerberg recently distinguished himself in this arena, throwing himself into the fray with Republican Elon Musk to help his allies in the presidential battle for the minds of Americans in 2024 via social media. Meta Corporation, which has an already extremely negative image among Americans, has launched an analog of Twitter – the microblogging site Threads. Zuckerberg boasted that the Threads audience reached 10 million users in the first 24 hours. By comparison, Twitter has gained 330 million active users in 17 years of its existence. However, quite expected scandals immediately broke out around Threads. The new social network was accused of collecting too much data about users, including information about health, finances and personal life. It was not without accusations of censorship. Trump supporters posted on Threads about the Biden family’s corruption for the sake of experimentation. And they were immediately attacked by the censors. The accounts of such “unreliable” users were instantly labeled as allegedly posting “false information”.
Criticism has also been voiced about Meta’s monopoly. After all, if they succeed in overtaking Twitter with their new project, they will begin to control 80% of the entire social network market outside of Russia and China. Facebook, Instagram and Threads will turn into an absolute monopoly, with which Zuckerberg will have truly immense opportunities to censor and control the flow of information. Against this background, it is not surprising that distrust and even fear of Meta possesses the minds of Americans. However, this is more of a hypothetical fear, because other analogs of Twitter, Parler or the liberal project Mastodon, never took off. The same fate may befall Threads. The new social network is a clear attempt by the Democratic Party to regain control of social media ahead of the crucial 2024 election, because they realize that without widespread censorship, the Democrats’ chances of defeating Trump are sharply diminished. However, to their misfortune, this is also understood by the majority of citizens, who in recent years have become a little less sensitive to this kind of manipulation.
Americans are also tired of the politicization of every event, which takes on unhealthy and hypertrophied forms, raising questions about the mental health of many party figures. For example, the left wing of the Democratic Party used the July 4 to once again demand reparations for all victims of American colonialism. Since the Declaration of Independence was drafted by slave owners and did not take into account the interests of black slaves, they must now be paid reparations for centuries of slavery, segregation, and racism. Democrats in Congress have introduced a $14 trillion reparations bill. They want to go to the polls with this agenda, in effect trying to bribe minorities. And what kind of hyperinflation it will cause in case of its realization is practically unimportant for them, because the main thing is to restore “historical justice” and retain their power and influence. Ben & Jerry’s, a major ice cream manufacturer, also distinguished itself: the company called on all Americans to recognize that the U.S. was founded on “stolen” land from Indians and on the basis of slave labor, and demanded that this land be returned to the indigenous peoples of America. Based on these intentions, we can start with the famous Mount Rushmore, where the famous monument with 4 presidents – Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln – is carved. Today they are denounced as racists and genocidal, and their monuments are being torn down. There are increasing calls among the left to simply destroy the monument, which may well happen in 1-2 generations. Every Independence Day for about a decade now shows how the divide within the US has gotten worse year after year. A divided America cannot even agree on the fundamental question of whether the event of the formation of the United States 247 years ago is a positive event. Or whether there has been nothing but racism and oppression of minorities in American history, in which case only further inevitable deconstruction must await the U.S.
The very sincerity of motives of politicians and statesmen, as well as their honesty in their actions, does not arouse positive emotions among citizens. Thus, on the eve of Independence Day celebrations, a white powder containing cocaine was found in the West Wing of the White House, and it is indicative that at that very moment Hunter Biden was “visiting” the White House. He calls himself a “recoverable” drug addict, but whether it is true or not, no one can confirm. Hunter was immediately accused that he couldn’t resist and took cocaine right before going to the White House balcony, where the whole Biden family was watching the fireworks. Hunter Biden is also haunted by another scandal. Recently he “successfully” agreed with the investigation and avoided serious consequences for non-payment of taxes and illegal possession of weapons. Now it has come to light that one of the prosecutors in the case previously worked for Hunter’s firms that made gray business deals around the world. They, in particular, helped Romanian big businessmen avoid corruption investigations in exchange for “donations” to the Biden family. All of these scandals came to a head at the very moment Biden once again tried to call on Americans for “national unity” amid the Fourth of July celebration. In reality, they only increase the division in the United States, and Hunter becomes the embodiment of corruption and nepotism in Washington, which make distrust of the government and related institutions the norm for every American. And a society of total distrust cannot long maintain even nominal unity and be the backbone of a strong and independent state.