If you want to blame the American people for a disastrous response, go right ahead. I don’t see it that way at all. I see a nation that has achieved immense feats in the past under inspired leadership. Roosevelt won the war, Truman won the peace, Kennedy got America started to the moon, Reagan won the Cold War, and you’ve got an incredible ongoing military and cultural influence.

The American people didn’t fail in those things through population density or a supposed love of freedom, and I have no doubt that if led properly now, they would succeed.

There has been a failure of national leadership, simple as that. The ignorant messages coming from your head of government, the failure to stem the avalanche of fake news, and the conflicts between states, and state and federal authorities are all quite clear. Despite the best will in the world, the people can’t be expected to act effectively if they are being fed mixed messages. Like the man who jumped off on his horse and galloped off in all directions, no progress can be made.

Trump doesn’t have any sort of a plan himself, and constantly ignores the advice of those who do.

As for liberty, what nonsense. America has more of its citizens locked up than any other developed nation, and I include North Korea and Stalin’s Russia there, in both absolute and prorata terms. Democracy is in crisis with voters being disenfranchised through various means for partisan ends – including the high imprisonment rate – and just as the Soviet Union’s Communism crumbled, so too is America’s Capitalism going the same way. If people have no money to buy goods, it doesn’t matter if the billionaires have plenty to sell.

Fix your social problems, fix your leadership problems, or somebody will fix them for you, and the most obvious candidates are China looking to regain their old leadership role, and Russia bent on revenge and advantage.

Look at the news from Europe. They are banding together because American leadership has failed, and some members of the EU are close to collapse. This is unprecedented stuff, but just like few Americans noticed China’s rise twenty years ago – not that I did either, mind – they think that the old greatness will somehow magically return.

Well, I’m not seeing it. Across the world America is the butt of savage jokes and pointed criticism. Trump stands alone at world gatherings because he has nothing to offer. Except to dictatorships.

It is a sorry time for the first of the world’s great modern democracies.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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