Here Thar Be Monsters!
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Ain't Buyin' What They're Sellin'
In South America, we have Venezuela eating itself alive, a situation that has escalated since Chavez vanished from the scene. Keep in mind that Maduro is the 65th president, so we're not talking about a nascent democracy here. It gained independence in 1811, and has been relatively stable for most of that time, with a fairly robust economy centered around its oil reserves.
Venezuela's southern neighbor is Brazil, the largest and most powerful of the South American republics. It too has been reasonably stable for some time with an economy dominated by oil. It has also undergone a steady decline leading to the impeachment of President Rousseff and the installation of her political polar opposite Temer.
Chile's long-ruling moderate PDC party is in a heated race against a Socialist coalition. Argentina, which hasn't been stable since the 1980s, continues to ride an economic roller coaster. Meanwhile, Mexico appears to be on the verge of another revolution, which would likely cause havoc in Central America.
The EU is a mess. Non-existent immigration controls have led to a boiling social and political situation that could flare at any moment, and that moment could come with the French elections. Islamic immigrants/invaders are wholly incompatible with the extant culture, yet the leftist blanket laying over the continent prevents any meaningful dialogue on the subject. Even the Roman Church, which has anchored European culture for millennia has sold out to Socialist Utopian fantasies.
In the US, the scene is even more ridiculous. The leftists that dominated the past decade have isolated themselves physically and intellectually from the rest of the country. The began by migrating to self-contained sycophantic enclaves, like New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. They then spent the entire past decade congratulating themselves on how clever they were while dictating their social proclamations to the rest of the country, which was pretty happy being left alone.
The leftists in both the US and EU so completely lost contact with the Real World in their intellectual circle-jerk that they set up an incompatible dichotomy of idealism with more moderate traditionalists hardening their positions against things like immigration, gay marriage and transgender toilets.
The dichotomy was unbalanced, with the vast majority being on the traditionalist side of the equation. The progressive left, unable to find anyone in their Ivory Towers to say wait a minute pushed the boundaries of propriety until the traditionalists snapped back.
Enter Donald Trump. As a businessman, he was bold, adventurous and used to getting his way. His gregarious style worked well in marketing and he, too, built an isolated world around himself, full of people who always jumped when he called.
Trump instinctively knew where the money was. AS a salesman, he built his empire on reading the market and responding in a way that got sales. He knew that image and branding was everything, and he used his skills to remarkable effect in the 2016 campaign.
The problem is that government doesn't operate like a business. He masterfully controlled the sound-byte and the lower-third title crawl, but now that it has come to action, he wants to delegate the responsibility to others. He is thinking in terms of generating leads and handing them off to the marketing staff to close the deal. All he wants to know is the result. How the result is achieved is outside his scope of work. That's Someone Else's Problem.
At this point, the traditionalists are placated by the unwinding of the progressive agenda. On the other side, the leftists are so busy consoling themselves that whatever remained of contact with the Real World is now gone. As a consequence, no one is minding the store and Trump is discounting everything to fire sale prices. In other words, Trump has taken the position that any sale is a good sale, without regard to costs of doing business.
The rest of the world is catching on to Trump's weakness - a short-sighted and obsessive focus on near-term results without thoroughly thinking through the consequences. During the campaign, he said anything that got him wild applause. Now his applause is coming from a much smaller and more self-interested inner circle.
With everyone in the Western world either hysterically happy or hysterically upset and myopically focused on immediate results one way or the other, there is little room to worry about global stability and long-term developments.
Slowly, cautiously, the Eastern hemisphere is reading the zeitgeist. They see two shopkeepers embroiled in an argument over unfair competition, and like opportunistic thieves, they are making off with the goods. Put another way, two ad executives are so focused on fonts and kerning that the copywriters are slipping all kinds of content past them.
China is buying up the West at break-neck speed. Russia has completely recovered from the West's economic sanctions. The only part of the East that the West has ever really held any sway over - the Middle East - is collapsing and/or bitterly opposed to further alignment with the West.
The only Western stronghold in the Eastern hemisphere is Australia, and they are currently arguing over which side of the toast the butter is on. Their closest trading partners are China, India and Indonesia, but the US and EU are demanding fealty without offering solid social and financial solutions. If/when push comes to shove, they may well choose their own survival against cultural ties.
Trump is quickly showing that he is the wrong man at the wrong time. In a world that requires finesse and subtlety, he is a bull in a china shop. Russia and China are no longer weak and backward economies; they are now sleek and nimble, able to capitalize on mistakes quickly and quietly.
The problem is that the traditionalists have unleashed blustery showboating, while the leftists could only offer social engineering that the rest of the world neither wants nor cares about. The result is that the West is ideologically bankrupt and economically unbalanced. With nothing to offer, the rest of the world is ignoring the Western powers and going about their own business.
If Trump continues to poke the military in matters that no longer concern the US, he will only coalesce the resistance. With North and South America and Europe in chaos, and with nothing of interest to sell the rest of the world, the shutters will soon close on the American century.
Perhaps in hindsight folks will come to their senses, but I'm not counting on it.