American Decline

Prophets of American Decline

By Declan Leary, The American Conservative

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump opened his administration on an unusually (but appropriately) bleak note. Surveying the decline ongoing all over the nation, the new president promised better days ahead.

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories, scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

It didn’t. Though the Trump admin made some small steps toward national restoration, the hopes of those who had suffered under these decades of decay remained largely unfulfilled. When, at the end of his term, the president sought a victory lap, the best he could do was a lackluster speech at the one small portion of border wall he managed to erect. Mother and children still trapped in poverty, rusted out factories still scattered like tombstones. Education, crime, and drugs all exponentially worse than even five years ago. American carnage rolls on.

The usual explanation given for the failure of his presidency is personnel: By and large, Trump did not hire people with either the inclination or the ability to halt our national decline. This is true in part, but at the end of the day Donald Trump’s problem was always that he was Donald Trump. Besides, the president had surrounded himself with a great many solid people, who shared his gut instinct about our situation but had one talent or another that brought the vision a little farther than Trump could have alone. One such person, of course, was Kanye West.

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