I gave it a chance, guys. I did. I waited until we were 187 days into the Trump presidency to say this, but now I’m calling it:
America is fucking broken.
Not the cool kind of broken, where a badass rebellion starts and a new generation of heroes leave their homes to join the resistance and restore justice to the land.
Not the inspiring kind of broken, where the rest of the world sees that you’ve been dealt a bad hand and comes together to hold a benefit concert in the spirit of brotherhood.
Not even the funny kind of broken, where the Emperor makes his horse a senator and it’s so ridiculous that it’s actually hard to be upset about it.
No, we just kind of fell apart like a quote from a shitty YA book: slowly, and then all at once.
I mean, Trump isn’t solely to blame. But he’s absolutely the most visible indicator of the problem. I think of it like the 2016 election cycle being the “Check Engine” light, and Donald Trump is now the cloud of black smoke pouring out from under the hood.
You see, you either think Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11, or you think that Donald Trump is the only good thing to happen to America since 9/11. There’s no middle ground.
And we really needed that middle ground.
Does anyone still remember the “United” part of the United States of America? When we had our differences, sure, but we could rally and stand together when it counted. Because we had common ground and common goals that we could always come back to. There was a place in the middle of both ends of the spectrum, a place that both sides could point to and say, “This seems reasonable enough, let’s start here.”
But we lost that middle, guys. If this was a Venn diagram, it would be a red circle and a blue circle about a mile away from one another, with a barbed-wire fence in between. The last time we were this divided, half the country quit and the other half had to go get them back with guns.
None of us agree on anything. We don’t even agree on things that are facts. We don’t even agree about what a fact is.
How are we supposed to stay united as a country if we can’t find one goddamn acre of common ground?
I don’t have a solution, by the way. I know that traditionally the structure of this post would be that I declare America is broken and then suggest a bunch of optimistic plans for fixing it.
But I don’t have any idea what we’re supposed to do at this point.
I don’t think anyone knows.
Here’s something related to lighten the mood a little, until you think about it and realize that it’s still pretty defeatist and existentially terrifying. But at least it’s a semi-callback to that thing I said before about Caligula: