Has “The American Experiment” failed?


american experimentUthaclena is asking:

Do you think that “The American Experiment” has failed? How likely do you think it is that the United States is headed for a breakup?

I am increasingly concerned about this. The single item that most triggered this worry is the 2022 Texas GOP Platform. It runs about 40 pages, with 275 paragraphs of positions. It also includes two resolutions, one against the gun bill brokered in part by their own Republican senator John Cornyn. I thought the bill was weak tea, though better than nothing. But they have discerned that gun control is a violation of their “God-given rights.”

The other resolution indicates that Joe Biden isn’t actually president. If we can’t agree on the manner in which we operate and oversee our elections, the whole process falls apart. I mean, I DESPISED Biden’s predecessor, but I never believed he wasn’t president, no matter I wanted it to be otherwise. And this isn’t some blowhard commentator saying this, it’s a major political party in our second-most-populous state.

Among the other positions taken by the TX GOP:

The repealing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which had already been gutted by the Supreme Court back in 2012.
Leaving the U.N.; check out paragraph 273
Banning income tax (repealing the 16th amendment) and ending the direct election of US Senators (repealing the 17th Amendment, return to the appointment of Senators by the state legislatures).
Disallowing same-sex marriage
Banning sex education – search the document for the word sex
SECESSION (paragraph 33)

BTW, Kelly covers some of this same territory.


I’m of the generation where the Supreme Court EXPANDED the rights of those who were minorities and/or less powerful, less fortunate. This court has decided that the state’s right to control guns within its own borders (10th Amendment) is superseded by the right to have guns (2nd Amendment).

Some commentators suggested that we ought not to worry that other rights might be abrogated, as Clarence Thomas suggested in his concurring opinion striking down Roe. The votes in SCOTUS aren’t there, presently. But several others pointed out, including the SCOTUS guy for ABC News, Terry Moran, an opposing view that makes more sense to me. Thomas’ opinion questioning same-gender marriage and contraception, et al. is actually more consistent with Alito’s flawed argument that there is no Constitutional right to abortion.

I came across this Neil Gaiman tweet of an NPR piece, Throughline’ Traces Evangelicals’ History On The Abortion Issue by By Rund Abdelfatah. You should read the whole thing; it’s not long. It totally surprised me.

“The Southern Baptist Convention… actually passed resolutions in 1971, 1974, and 1976 – after Roe v. Wade – affirming the idea that women should have access to abortion for a variety of reasons and that the government should play a limited role in that matter… The experts we talked to said white evangelicals at that time saw abortion as largely a Catholic issue.” It was desegregation that started the sea change.

What a country!

Look at maternal mortality rates by country (per 100,000 live births). The US stands at 17.3, worse, FAR worse than any industrialized country. Or child poverty, where the US is well above average. Rare among industrialized nations: no paid maternity leave.

The notion that the US is saving lives by overturning Roe is laughable. Quoting the late George Carlin: “No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn you’re fine; if you’re preschool you’re f###ed… And then they turn around and say, ‘we’re pro-life.'”

How does each of the states’ anti-abortion laws apply, anyway? As I heard or read from multiple sources, ambiguity is a design, not a flaw. How do interstate companies respond?

Vanity Fair states the decision was “a result that was born not of careful decision-making and analytic rigor, but of power.” Despite the majority of Americans feeling otherwise.

My buddy Greg Burgas thinks the Republicans have overplayed their hand; that’d be nice, but I remain unconvinced.


 We have Americans who believe the President who was elected in 2020 wasn’t elected. Many others now find the Supreme Court to be an illegitimate entity. And of course, everyone hates the do-nothing… OK, do very little… Congress. It’s not as though these issues will be resolved if we just vote in November.

Alan Singer, who I have met, incidentally, writes about fascism in Russia, the US, and elsewhere. “The United States now has a significant bitter Ethno-nationalist white Christian movement that considers itself aggrieved by Jews, Blacks, Latinos, and immigrants who they claim to want to replace them as the dominant group. It has a political party and cult-like figures who manipulate this group to hold onto power and block any attempts to address major social and economic issues…

“Corporate interests support the cult figures and their efforts to stir up mass support because it is in the interests of these wealthy capitalists to cut taxes and eliminate government regulations… It includes armed groups that threaten military action in the name of 2nd Amendment rights.”

Book bans in K-12 schools have escalated recently. Many “of the books on the list were written by Black or LGBTQ authors.”

So a breakup isn’t inevitable. But I think it’s way more likely now than I did in 2019. Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, who I’ve known for years, has had his journey into “the far-right world of January 6 insurrectionists, QAnon-ers, and Trump cultists—who they are, what they’re saying, what they believe, and what their still-growing movement might portend (including the specter of civil war in America). Such a prospect, says Sharlet, is ‘scarier than it’s ever been.'”

Add inflation, crime, and global warming influenced extreme weather, and who knows? Of course, it would be an ugly, difficult breakup. The 1947 partition of India and Pakistan along religious lines was extremely costly, monetarily and in terms of about two million lives lost. Since we’re the USA, it’d be even worse.

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